Saturday, March 24, 2007

Will they train?

Some of the first job ads are coming out of Gannett's Information Center initiative.

Florida Today is developing the newsroom of tomorrow. If you're highly motivated, technically savvy, flexible and excited by the potential of new media, then we may have a job for you. We need a couple of copy editors for our Delivery Desk, which publishes content both in print and online. Our operation does have some editors who specialize in editing or design, but the strongest candidates will be able to develop skills in a variety of areas.
Delightfully fuzzy. So what skills are those? Ability to shovel 20 items an hour onto whatever platform, or something more. Details, please? Will Gannett provide training in these new skills? (Because even were we able to produce Super Robo Editor walking out the door today, some of those skills might be obsolete by next week.) That would be refreshingly different for this industry.

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At 3/25/07, 2:43 PM, Anonymous Howard Owens said...

I once advertised a job in Ventura that was pretty open ended ... we had so many needs and only one slot to fill. I figured -- I'll hire the best candidate and put him or her in the role that fits best.

The person I hired has worked out great.

There's something to be said for finding people with the right mindset and then molding the job to fit him or her. There's so much to be done and the environment is so turbulent. It's not necessarily a good thing to predefine things too much. And there's something to be said for on-the-job training (a concept I learned in the Air Force ... and related, I flourished in Ventura when I was able to mold the job to fit my skill set and passions -- Rob Curley seems to have a lot of success going that route with his hires).

At 3/25/07, 7:50 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Oh yeah. No disagreement there. (Half the people I know in journalism had broader talents and just kind of fell into it.)

I was just tweaking a bit, saying hey, let's sit down and try to figure out a little what the boundaries are. I agree the best person is the one who is the lifelong learner and has the best all-around skills. But we do have to teach something out here in the hustings, so I'd just like a hint of what areas they might be looking to have folks develop those skills in.

The ad smacks a little of the entire throw Jell-o against the wall and see what sticks atmosphere right now, and while that has its romantic appeal, it's probably not the best way to run the place. (For those who would point out Google's free-thinking approach, I'd note it's still pretty structured when you look closely at it).

At 3/26/07, 10:38 AM, Anonymous Ryan said...

"Super Robo Editor."

If I only had one of those little nameplates for my desk...

Maybe my new "Online Editor" business cards haven't been sent to the printer yet... there's still time to change my title.


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