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Archives: April 2010

What Does A Social Media Specialist Do? Job Listing Deconstructed

American Public Media is hiring a “Community Editor & Social Media Specialist.” What exactly does that mean? We’re deconstructing the ad.

The description:

The Editor and Social Media Specialist will oversee and implement the organization’s social media activities and its hyperlocal newsgathering projects in South Los Angeles. S/he will directly engage SCPR’s audience in a variety of social media channels, including a ground-breaking project to develop a community-based news website serving Angelenos. The Editor and Social Media Specialist will work closely with SCPR’s New Media team, the newsroom, community organizations, freelancers, and residents of Los Angeles to craft unique online programming (blogs, podcasts, & multimedia) which explores the experiences of Southern Californians. The successful candidate will have a strong interest to produce outstanding journalism for underserved, diverse communities. Finally, the Editor and Social Media Specialist will implement and support best practices for online donation and fundraising in social media channels.

What’s important here? How about this sentence: ” The Editor and Social Media Specialist will work closely with SCPR’s New Media team, the newsroom, community organizations, freelancers, and residents of Los Angeles to craft unique online programming…”

The editor isn’t just working with freelancers and reporters, but is reaching out into the community.

“Finally, the Editor and Social Media Specialist will implement and support best practices for online donation and fundraising in social media channels.”

Figure out how to make that Facebook thing bring in some money.

“The successful candidate will have a strong interest to produce outstanding journalism for underserved, diverse communities.”

Journalism is still important. Not the most important for this role, but important.

Now the job requirements:

- BA in Journalism
Standard, we imagine.
- Five+ years reporting and editing experience, 3-5 years hands-on experience with social media tools
You need to know reporting, editing, and this newfangled stuff.
- Experience in web development, HTML/CSS, online news production
Translation: Computer Jesus?
- Ability to lead a hyperlocal project on underserved communities in South Los Angeles
On top of everything else, leadership skills.
- Ability to lead participants in the social media conversation, passionate about multimedia, blogging, micro-blogging
Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone wants somebody who’s passionate.
- Understanding of social media universe including Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
- Strong Photoshop and visual skills
One hopes here they mean “able to crop and resize photos” not “able to airbrush models, create drawings of aliens, and move the Pyramids closer together.” One could also argue that a person trained in news photography should be heading up the visual side of this site, but such is the state of journalism.
- Ability to manage a small cadre of community reporters and bloggers and work effectively under pressure with limited supervision
Blah, blah, blah
- Knowledge of cutting-edge social media tactics
- Ability to deliver work that meets SCPR’s high editorial standards
No surprise here.
- Spanish a plus
Of course.

So the new journalist knows Photoshop, at least two web languages, has a Facebook and Twitter page, can manage people effectively, and speaks two languages.

This is not all that surprising, really.

The salary range for this gig is $62,094 – $93,141. The low end of this range seemed awful low to us, given the immense amount of responsibility this person will have, and seems to agree with us (though of course that’s not a scientific tool). But check it out, let us know if you get the gig, and ask for the high end of that range please.

Bids For Star-Bulletin Too Low, DoJ Says: Now The Merger Begins

Honolulu Advertiser
The bids submitted for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin weren’t high enough to prohibit Honolulu’s two biggest papers from merging, Hawaii News Now reports.

To comply with antitrust laws, the Department of Justice was forcing Star-Bulletin owner David Black to solicit bids for the paper before he merged it into Hawaii’s largest paper, the Honolulu Advertiser. The Star-Bulletin actually received three bids, but now the Department of Justice is saying the merger can go ahead anyway&151;the bids were all too low.

In the next 30 to 60 days, the papers will become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Oahu Publications will begin interviewing the 300 Star-Bulletin employees and 500 Advertiser employees to figure out who to keep on at the new paper.

Wayne Cahill, of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, says it will be “very bad. Many of the employees have been with the paper for years and now they will be out on the streets.”

Racism Is Probably Not Helpful In A Job Interview

We have been following tumblr-er “likesdinosaurs” as she heads into her 13th week of unemployment.

A recent post on her blog describes a group interview she went on. Quite frankly we are horrified.

Dinosaurs herself was just fine, but the other people in the group interview, well…

One forgot her name when introducing herself.
Another harped on her weaknesses.
A third said she was “good at understanding spanglish, and broken Chinese.”

The last said “I work well with people of all races.”

Dinosaurs writes, “At each point, I had to sit there and not say something. Like, ‘ouch, don’t say that.’”

Dinos was also apparently the only interviewee to bring her portfolio to the interview, something you should always do if you’re applying for that sort of position.

So we’re hopeful. And horrified.

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop

First-time jobless claims by newly-laid off people fell by 11,000 last week to 448,000, the Department of Labor reported today. The four-week average rose to 462,500; analysts believe that the four-week average of jobless claims needs to fall below 400,000 for job growth to occur.

Separately, the DOL also reported that for the week ended April 10, nearly 150,000 people dropped off the rolls of the long-time jobless.

The week ended April 17, New York and California both saw big decreases in jobless claims; Puerto Rico, Iowa, and Georgia all saw significant increases in unemployment benefit applications.

Speaking Of Bill Collectors, One City Steps Up For Freelancers

william-shakespeare.jpgOne small company in the suburbs of Chicago allegedly owes freelancers nearly $10,000, reports the Northbrook Star.

While it’s not news that freelancers are having trouble getting paid, the case is especially onerous because if the allegations against Shakespeare Squared, an education publisher, are true, the company has been hiring new freelancers without paying the old ones.

The city is taking the matter seriously after receiving multiple complaints—the police department has assigned a detective to the case.

“He’s currently looking into this as a criminal or civil matter,” [Northbrook police commander Scott] Dunham said. “These situations are typically difficult to resolve in a criminal venue, but on occasion you can successfully do so. We have also reached out to the Illinois Attorney General.”

WritersWeekly has been tracking complaints against the company and is up to 17 as of last week.

Shirley Powell To The Weather Channel | ‘Purges’ At Razorfish | More Stuff That Happened Yesterday

Hey Boss, Stop Stressing Me Out…Or Not?

Tension is a crucial part of the workplace, not just something to eliminate, according to a new study by Healthy Companies International, an Arlington, Va.-based management consultancy. If you’re a man.

While employees as a whole seem to be in agreement on how much stress or tension is appropriate in the office, women were 28 percent more likely than men to believe that the environment was too stressful, and men were nine percent more likely than women to think their offices had almost no tension.

However, only 25 percent of workers overall surveyed by Healthy Companies thought there was too much tension in their workplaces—interesting given the high-stress environments we’re all assumed to be working in, thanks to the economy.

So what’s the solution to a workplace atmosphere that some folks think is too much and others think is “juuuuust right”? Deal with it?

Jobs of the Day: The NY Post Needs A Reporter

New York Post
The New York Post has an open position: a political reporter. (New York, NY)
Ingram Content Group is looking for an account manager. (Raleigh, NC)
The McGraw-Hill Companies seeks a web design intern. (New York, NY)
Tessada & Associates needs a PR specialist to handle the NASA Johnson Space Center contract. Rockets! (Houston, TX)
Conde Nast is hiring a digital senior sales planner. (New York, NY)
The Capital Press needs a graphic artist. (Salem, OR)
The Pollack PR Marketing Group is seeking a PR account manager. (Los Angeles, CA)
Coyne PR is hiring an account executive in sports. (Parsippany, NJ)
Boys’ Life Magazine has an open position: a marketing specialist. (New York, NY)
Teach for America wants a director of content strategy. ((Flexible, but NYC preferred))
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers has an open position: a social media marketing manager. (Sparta, NJ)
Iris Wireless needs a SEO/e-commerce manager. (Irving, TX)
F+W Media is hiring a marketing director. (New York, NY)
Leader Enterprises is looking for a project coordinator. (Roswell, GA)

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to’s listings, to find the best media jobs out there. We screen out duplicates and scams so you know you’re only receiving the top choices.

As of the time of this posting, there were 1118 jobs on our board.

Creating A Great Onboarding Program Includes Telling People Where To Park

parking garage

Onboarding. Stupid, jargonistic term, but crucial business practice.

Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender, says that it’s a shame that onboarding and orientation have become synonymous, because orientation is “that half-day event where employees sign paperwork and review the employee handbook. That’s sad, because employees need and deserve more.”

No, onboarding is “about setting the employee up for success.” Or, less abstractly, it’s about making sure they know the minor details about the office so they can get down to doing their job. Don’t make new hires learn by osmosis.

Lauby writes: “Let them know little details like what time to be there, where to park, what to wear, how lunch will be handled, etc. I know you might be saying to yourself…this is basic stuff. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen new employees arrive with no clue what would happen on their very first day. Because their manager didn’t tell them. It’s even better when you can tell them what the first week will look like.”

Here’s how to do it: at an old job on Day 1, I was handed a folder with lots of forms to sign, but the top page was a schedule of my first few days with everything from “sit in on a news meeting” to “follow around so-and-so to learn how to do your job” to “go get your photo taken for your ID.” It was smooth. They knew how to do it.

photo: o palsson

WANTED Predicts Huge Job Gains In April

WANTED Analytics predicts that April showers will bring good job news in May. Er, terrible allusions aside, the company, which provides job outlook information to media, HR, and government, is saying that when the government reports job growth information for the month of April, payrolls will have grown by more than 200,000.


Five reasons: First, job board postings have “rising at a slow and steady pace, presaging continued employment gains.” Second, though WANTED doesn’t count craigslist jobs officially, it’s the largest job board by volume in the States and “is a good indicator of demand for low salary or hourly jobs.” Craigslist postings are also up.

Unemployment insurance claims are down (slightly) and the S&P is up.

Last, the census. The government’s expected to hire another 66,000 census workers this month and more than 300,000 in May.

All this adds up to a pretty rosy job forecast, but it’s just a prediction. More predictions will roll in next week in advance of the official report May 7.