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Needing top-notch paginator, The Villages, Fla.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by BYUSportsGuy, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. BYUSportsGuy

    BYUSportsGuy Member

    A friend of mine saw this post on jjobs.com and was kind of interested in it. Anyone know anything about the paper, the people or the location? It looks like it's halfway between Orlando and Tampa, and sorta close to Gainesville. The web site sucks, and I was wondering what y'all knew for my friend. Thanks.

    Company: The Villages Daily Sun
    Position:
    Top-notch paginator wanted!!!
    Location:
    The Villages, Florida
    Job Status: Full-time
    Salary: Negotiable
    Ad Expires:
    January 12, 2010
    Job ID: 1116245

    The Villages Daily Sun, a fast-growing daily paper serving Central Florida, is looking for a sports-minded paginator who can edit and design reader-friendly sports pages as well as local, feature and special sections pages.

    The successful candidate must be attentive to detail, able to work well under deadline pressure, and be able to write snappy headlines and captions. Those applying for the position must have a working knowledge of grammar, spelling and Associated Press style.

    Minimum requirements: A bachelor's degree in Journalism or English or a comparable degree with a heavy journalism background. At least two years of experience as a copy editor, paginator or page designer for a weekly or daily newspaper. One year of experience working with Quark Xpress or Indesign. Applicants must be willing to work night and weekend shifts. The award-winning Villages Daily Sun is defying national trends of declining circulation numbers and downsizing of staff. The newspaper is rated as one of the country's top seven-day newspapers, according to recent figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. We offer competitive pay, excellent benefits and access to a highly regarded school system.

    The Villages caters to a senior population, but also covers several surrounding counties. It is centrally located, with Orlando, Tampa, Daytona Beach and Gainesville all within 90 minutes. Please log onto careersinthevillages.com to print and complete an application,

    Send your resume, references and five best layout samples (tearsheets or digital) to: Human Resources, 900 Main St. Suite 204, The Villages, Fl 32162 or via e-mail jobs@thevillages.com. Fax (352)753-5664. Phone (352) 750-5152.
     
  2. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I have nothing to add, other than I enjoyed the "Last post" link on the main page reading, "Needing top-notch pagina..."
     
  3. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    The Villages is one of the creepiest places on Earth. It's where Mickey Mouse would retire.

    What it actually is, if you don't know, is a massive retirement community of, last I checked, about 60,000 people. It sprawls across three counties, Lake, Marion and Sumter, none of which are hotbeds of thrills -- though John Travolta lives in Marion County, which is big on horses and also has a community that caters to private-plane owners. (It has its own runway and everything.) It's not halfway between Orlando and Tampa -- it just looks that way. It's actually about an hour north of Orlando, and probably an hour south of Gainesville, depending what part you're in. But it's probably about as long to get to Tampa as it is to Orlando, because you can easily pick up I-75 South from The Villages, whereas you have to take U.S. 441 to get to Orlando.

    The paper itself, like everything in The Villages, is controlled by the company that operates the company. Exactly who's in charge has never been entirely clear, but it's very, very Stepford. Specific rules about everything -- and no one under 55 can live in The Villages itself. There are even limits on how long children can stay -- I imagine to keep seniors from having their grandchildren live with them. The school system the ad speaks of is a charter school for people who work there, both for the developers and for the various retail entities, of which there are many. (Which is one of the few benefits of the thing, IMO.)

    If someone wanted to dig deep enough, I'm sure they could find out a lot of shady shit going on around The Villages. They have had a largely negative effect on the surrounding counties, particularly Sumter, where they pushed through a bullshit initiative a few years ago that basically ensures that the entire county commission is made up of Villages-favoring folks. But, of course, because the paper is controlled by the developers, it presents a very, very positive view of The Villages. There is no investigative journalism here. There is very little that even resembles journalism.

    I know the sports section used to cover the local high schools, with heavy emphasis on The Villages High School, which does reasonably well. I'm not sure if they still cover the ones beyond TVHS, though. (They at least used to cover South Sumter, which until this year was pretty dominant.)

    But the main priority is going to be on stuff that appeals to the geezer set. So a lot of golf, obviously, but also a lot of coverage of the sports activities within the community. Think senior men's softball features -- and gamers. Think pickleball tournaments. Think the Florida Senior Games, or whatever the hell they're called.

    At least three days out of the week, the front-page centerpiece will be a picture of a Villages couple holding a picture of something else. I remember one a few years ago around Christmas that was about a couple whose son was somehow involved in providing the White House Christmas tree. In 1984. The fonts are massive, naturally, since the target audience is a retinal specialist's wet dream. But the presses seem pretty decent.

    George Bush visited in 2004, and I believe both McCain and Palin visited in 2008, if politics are your thing.

    So yeah. I don't have a high opinion of the place. But the paper's growing, if only because I'm pretty sure every Villages resident gets one. And it's the kind of place where people read newspapers, naturally. They do hire a lot, but I'm pretty sure the turnover's pretty high. It's the kind of place that can easily drive you crazy.
     
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Oh, and if you remember the Daily Show story about seniors contracting STDs? Not actually shot in The Villages, but The Villages has had the same problem.
     
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    What deskslave said. The place is wild. I enjoyed working at a nearly paper many moons ago and playing golf at the Villages, and covering occasional events there when they brought in pro athletes, namely old golfers and bowlers. But yeah, we got hearty chuckles out of the news operation. If someone ever got robbed in the Villages, the last place you'd read about it would be in that paper.
     
  6. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    i know people who live in the villages. one twittered the other day that on Christmas, all of the golf courses are open for free. so, if you're old and wanting to play golf and shuffleboard, have at it.
     
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Didn't think I'd see the word "twitter" on this thread.
     
  8. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    some of the geezers are twitter-savvy.
     
  9. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    It runs in their family, alas. :)

    rb
     
  10. What deskslave said is pretty dead-on. The paper's owned by the company that owns The Villages, and I guess maybe the olds there seem to think it's an interesting product. I was offered a job there once, but turned it down because I didn't really think it was a step up from where I was at.

    The upsides: It's in the middle of Florida (yet still in the middle of nowhere) and the paper is probably the only one in America that has money to burn because their circulation base is going nowhere but to the grave and when that happens more olds are lined up to move in. The offered salary was competitive. The higher-ups there are actually decent people and seemed to be more than fair with all the employees. The golf there is good, but I was told there are only a couple times a year employees or people who don't live there can get tee times. And if the golf is the main selling point in you moving or taking a new job, you should find a new line of work, possibly even professional golfer. While everyone seems to think the paper really puts a good spin on things, a couple of former reporters I know told me they're actually pretty hands-off as far as spin goes, but they do only cover things that affect The Villages and, as it was explained to me, they print negative stuff on the place occasionally but it ends up on page eight. I was told by an exec there that the guy who runs/owns/oversees The Villages had only ever come into the newspaper office twice in the last ten years or so, and both times it was to pick up packages or something waiting there for him. I guess he's too busy making it rain to worry about his profitable newspaper much.

    The downsides: It's in the middle of what I like to think of as a land-locked Bermuda Triangle. I've lived in Tampa, Gainesville and Orlando and it's not really a fun drive from any of those places. There's really nothing there unless you want to drive an hour in any direction. The place is all old people. All they do is write profiles on old people, previews for the nightly concerts/entertainment and the sports section was described to me by the section editor as a "USA Today kind of thing" because they had to include sports from all over the country as the people living there are everywhere. The people living there like it, so I guess that's what matters.

    As for the Web site, they told me when I interviewed there a few years back that they had no intention to spend any money revamping it any time soon because not a single person subscribing to the paper cared. They're olds, so of course they want a paper at their door when they wake up at 5 a.m. for no real reason.
     
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Ability to format shuffleboard agate preferred.
     
  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    And don't forget to cover the JV shuffleboard team as well. They work hard, too!
     
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