I’ve been preaching about the skills required for new newsrooms for a while now. They are easy to acquire if you put some effort into it but even the best journalism schools in India can’t teach you most of these skills.
Traditional newsroom jobs are dying. Or they are getting a heavy makeover. New kinds of journalism (or rather content) jobs are being created by new companies like Upworthy and Buzzfeed or even old media houses that are trying to come to terms with the Internet.
I’ve been meaning to write a more detailed post about what would a typical new newsroom job look like. So when Pankaj shared this job description for a writer at Upworthy, it just made my job very easy.
Here’s a quick summary of what they are looking for. I’ve made some comments in italics.
Writer, Trending Team- at Upworthy (View all jobs)
Location: Anywhere (Teams are more global these days and are writing for a global audience.)
As a completely virtual workplace, our staff is spread out all over the country, and we’re looking for candidates from diverse backgrounds.
You’re fast. You have incredible instincts for how the Internet will respond to the conversation of the moment, and believe that together, we can move that conversation in a direction that makes the world a better place.
You have a sharp eye for storytelling in all forms on the Internet including writing, visual communication, and savvy packaging. You are flexible in your voice and writing style, and can jump into trending topics to highlight the most important angles and ideas with ease.
A fantastic trending writer is self-motivated and accountable, thrives on teamwork in an online environment, is focused on the big picture but can break it down into actionable pieces, and is passionate about furthering Upworthy’s mission.
What A Trending Writer Does At Upworthy
– Monitors the Internet for trending topics, events and ideas that Upworthy can uniquely elevate, or respond to
– Pitches ideas for original stories and angles on current trends that help elevate the public conversation
– Fearlessly takes on any story assignment from their editor (This is the same in all newsrooms, new or old)
– Quickly builds story packages on trending topics
– Dreams up and builds basic graphics and/or visual story components (You’ll be lucky to have a separate design team).
– Develops thumbnails, headlines, and other clickable, shareable visual and verbal clues for each story (Again, you’ll be luck to have a rewrite desk or copy desk).
The Ideal Candidate
– Is fast but detail oriented. Responds quickly. Writes clean copy.
– Willing to take on any story and make it soar. (This is where you’ll need to learn how to distribute your stories smartly).
– Flexible. Willing to roll with changes to processes or goals, and eager to learn and employ new skills (Processes change very often in startups and new media companies).
– Has a vibrant, active presence on social media, specifically Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. (If you don’t have one, start now).
– This is a writing position, so show us your writing talents: please include a cover letter showing us that you can write in a voice that would shine at Upworthy. (When blogging, or working for one of these companies, finding your voice is the first thing you will have to work on).