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Reporting job applicant lists elected officials as references

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    An applicant for a news side reporting opening included several elected officials among people who could be contacted as references.

    That raised a red flag to me because an elected official's idea of who is a good reporter is different than an editor's. It also made me concerned that this person is too close to the people she covered.

    Your thoughts?
  2. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    they may just speak to their character and professionalism, so it may be interested to hear their take, but it would concern me if that was all their references, and not in addition to co-workers or former bosses.
  3. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    I'm pretty sure no co-workers or former bosses were listed as references, but I am not 100 percent certain.
  4. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    if that is the case, i would question why as well.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Ditto. If the reporter is doing their job correctly, they should be seeing more of the elected officials, coaches, etc. than other reporters. There should be at least a boss or two among the references, though.
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Possible this is merely a (semi-)beginner's mistake?
  7. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    perhaps, but if he ever applied for a job, he should know at least one reference should be a boss or co-worker or somehow who sees you in that aspect.
  8. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    She has a few years of experience.
  9. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    That's an interesting take, Cadet. I guess you're right. But if the reporter is doing their job correctly, they're also probably pissing off those same sources on at least a semi-regular basis. I guess the question becomes whether the source is mature enough/has a reasonable enough understanding of our jobs to forgive those instances and realize that we write for the masses, not for them.
    Still, if I'm hiring a reporter, I'd be pretty wary of someone listing sources (especially more sources than journalists) as references, unless they had a damn good reason. To be honest, it just kind of smells funny to me.
  10. swish

    swish New Member

    I've listed coaches I've covered as references before. Is there much of a difference or am I hurting myself by doing so?
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Was it Furman Bisher who used to ask Vince Dooley which student reporter he hated the most, and then go hire that kid?

    Think about it.
  12. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    You won't know until you actually talk to the references.

    It could be a case of, "She did a story involving me, and she was fair. She got to the truth."

    Or it could be a case of, "She's my campaign manager's daughter."

    Bottom line is -- the person hiring needs to do some "reporting" himself. It's impossible to speculate on what the situation is unless he picks up the phone.
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