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10000 Words: What Hiring Editors Look For In Reporters Today

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

The May 10 edition of the 10000 Words blog — one of my favorites — had an interesting article on what hiring editors are looking for in reporters today.  As an old dog still learning new tricks, I read things like this regularly to see where I’m at in terms of skills.

Writer Meranda Watling comes up with a basic list of skills, then adds more skills we all need to have — all based on actual job listings.  Here’s a great example that more and more of us are facing: Experience with photography, video, the Web and social media would be a plus (this was for a reporter job at the Ellenburg Daily Record, in Washington state).

So I thought I’d check out what my own company, McGraw-Hill, is looking for these days in editorial positions.  The first one I pulled was for an editorial intern at Aviation Week:

Responsibilities would include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Contributing to editorial products in print and online, including and the Aviation Week Intelligence Network.
  2. Working with digital images and videos for online distribution.
  3. Some reporting, editing for daily and magazine products, on an assignment/mentoring basis.
  4. Researching, cataloging and uploading digital images to the digital asset management system.

Desired: Flexibility to work in both digital and print media; familiarity with broadcast/video standards. Interest and/or experience in aviation or engineering.

So then I looked at a higher-level job: Senior Editor ENR New York – McGraw-Hill Construction.  They want:

  •  Report news in the New York Region for ENR New York and ENR national.
  • Plan, package and produce all the content that appears in ENR New York.
  • Maintain ENR New York Website daily & moderate online community.
  • Plan and execute special awards competitions, including events.
  • Produce the ENR New York Insider, a regular e-newsletter.

You can see the other requirements, here.  I think this just illustrates Meranda’s point that no matter the size of the publication or the level of the job, it’s getting tougher for those who don’t have digital media skills.



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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