“This isn’t a normal job advertisement, because we’re not a normal small daily newspaper,” reads the Greenwood (S.C) Index-Journal‘s reporter-wanted ad. “Your first thoughts? Small, daily newspaper in Podunk, S.C. We don’t blame you.”
The ad goes on to note:
“We have never had a furlough day. We don’t have layoffs. While the rest of newspapers are struggling to stay in business — and reducing the quality of the product — we’ve thrived.” The paper’s won awards, too.
The ad warns that the reporter who’s hired will have to manage “several” beats and also do some general assignment work.
“The ideal candidate must desire to be the best. We’re not interested in half-ass efforts.”
I asked Index-Journal associate editor Scott Bryan about the ad and the response to it.
About two years ago, we posted a job ad and received 80 applicants for a news reporter position (we’ve had 100-plus applicants for sports writers and photographers, as well). While there were so many fantastic applicants, about half of them were less than stellar. In an effort to reduce the amount of applicants, force applicants to think a little bit instead of sending the form application and to narrow our pool to people who better fit our needs, I came up with our long-winded, potentially pretentious job advertisement.
That “potentially pretentious” ad has brought in about 20 applications “from talented journalists” so far, he says. (The ad expires today on JournalismJobs.com)
“We expect we’ll make some tremendous hires (we have two openings instead of one when the job ad was posted).”
We’re very fortunate at the Index-Journal. We’re a family owned newspaper with a publisher who really wants us to produce a GREAT newspaper. Along with the uptick we’ve had in awards, we’ve spent thousands of dollars on upgrades to equipment and continue to do so as we upgrade our newsroom’s computers in the next six months.
With all the doom and gloom in the newspaper industry, I wanted our job to be about the — to borrow a president’s favorite buzzword — “hope” our newspaper presents.