Friday, February 24, 2006

What Media Employers Want

The Rethinking Journalism Education conference opened with a panel of media executives who told us what they look for in new hires. Here are the panelists and what they had to say:
Jennewein said he's looking for a "converged student" with demonstrated skills in the web medium, with strong writing and video skills, who knows how to tell stories, knows AP style.

Sandra Duerr wants entry-level reporters who can think visually and graphically, who understand how to deliver information, and understand business/economics.

Bill Gannon says critical thinking ability is most important. He notes all applicants to Yahoo's news division must take a copy editing test and a writing test, and be prepared to work in a time-shifting world.

Howard Owens says new journalists need to know how to interview people, gather documents, and structure a story. They need to be smart, honest, resourceful, and have good judgment. They also need to respect citizen journalism and see journalism as a conversation. He emphasizes they also need to respect ethics, because there's no room for dishonesty.

All agreed students need more than one internship to get the experience they need to hit the ground running at their first real media job.

When Dona Nichols of JMC asked what we're not teaching, what qualifications are missing for many entry-level media job candidates. Jennewein said he's looking for candidates who are versatile, risk-taking, and open to the possibilities out there in the media environment.

Owens added, "If students don't have the passion, the qualifications for journalism, encourage them to find another profession."

Salaries for entry-level reporters

Jennewein: multimedia specialists start from upper $20s to low $40s
Duerr: entry-level reporters start at $34,000-35,000
Gannon: news hires start in $40s to $50s..."depends on how bad I want them." Yahoo also offers stock options.
Owens: entry-level programmers and content producers (advertorial) start at $35-40,000 (that's more than entry-level reporters get in the newsroom)


Ryan Sholin said...

Keep blogging the conference! Please!

Rachele Kanigel said...

Thanks for blogging the conference, Cynthia. For more about it the summit go to the Rethinking Journalism Education blog spot and the
Rethinking Journalism Education site.