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Job questions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Ok, posting this here in an attempt to keep the jobs board free for specific job postings. This is more of a general topic that would apply anywhere.....

    Interviewed for a sports editor's position at a mid-size daily. Told them, very sincerely, that they do a lot of things quite well. While I am not one to go in on day one and scrap everything immediately, there are certain things I would like to implement over time... things I have done successfully at other places or seen done that I believe would work well and be an improvement to the product.

    During the interview, it was very hard to read the people I meet with (four of them) as to how open to change they are. (Showed them samples from past papers where I have worked.) On the one hand, I am very open-minded and willing to work with most frameworks. On the other hand, if I am restricted from running a department and implementing some ideas I believe in, there seems little point to having the job. (I certainly don't need the job financially; I simply enjoy certain aspects of the business).

    So the question is: How much should I push them on these issues, on areas I don't feel completely comfortable with, and get some sort of assurances before deciding to take the plunge? On one hand, I'm willing to compromise on some things. On the other hand, I really would hate to move hundreds of miles only to wind up in a daily pissing war with others in the newsroom over style issues and coverage philosophy... and probably bail in less than six months.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If this is indeed a real job situation (I'm guessing not) and you take it, I guess we'll know which paper it is because it will be the one on Romenesko in six months for the series "Are black quarterbacks overrated?"
  3. I imagine the photo galleries on the website to include best softball cleavage or which volleyball player has the nicest ass. Opinion articles to question whether the women's basketball coach is homosexual.
  4. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    If you get to the offer stage, that's where you lay it all out. Tell them the things you believe in and the things you wish to implement. Stress to them that if it's not what they envision, you'd both be better off looking elsewhere. Don't do so in a confrontational manner.

    When I took the current job I'm in (I was promoted in-house), I gave my boss an incredibly extensive list of what we were going to do, how we were going to do and why we were going to do it. I told him it was an all-or-nothing proposition. But I told him for the long-term stability of the newspaper, if he couldn't agree with the changes I planned to implement, it was best he look for somebody who better fit his vision. Fortunately, he agreed with the changes I wanted to make, we made them, and I've been in the position nearly four years.

    People are resistant to change. You have to explain to them why and how you'll make the changes. If they don't like the changes, you have to decide if you're willing to take a job and do it their way or continue looking for a job that fits your overall plan.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Thanks. That's sort of what I tried to do in the initial interview: say "this is what I believe works well and why I'd like to do such-and-such". I expect any new person in a supervisory position would do that.

    We'll see how it goes. I've had a couple of experiences where I've walked into bad situations and offered suggestions to improve things and people didn't want to listen. Don't really want to repeat that.
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