Hard to find qualified biz reporters? You're not alone
Jonah Bloom, the editor in chief of Breaking Media, the parent company of sites such as Dealbreaker and Going Concern, writes about the difficulty in hiring journalists with business reporting experience.
Bloom writes, “I used to think it was just me who had to dig for days to turn up a single good candidate. Maybe, I just didn’t know where to look. Maybe, as editor of Ad Age, or editor-in-chief of Breaking Media, I just wasn’t offering sexy enough jobs, after all the jobs I was looking to fill definitely required some business reporting skills. But over the last couple of years I’ve had the discussion with countless editors and publishers. In just the last month I’ve spoken to the editor of a section of a major national newspaper, the editor of a pretty-damn sexy magazine/web brand and a couple of editors of online properties, all of whom have been struggling to find the right candidate.
“You might think that this makes sense. Maybe students have been forced into a sad-but-probably-practical conservatism by the pay-for-play education in this country, and are simply deciding not to rack up monstrous debts in an effort to join a poor-paying profession in which the largest employers have been cutting their staffs every year for a decade. But that’s not it. In fact, even in the mainstream-media maelstrom of 2009, the J-schools continued to report increased applications and graduate numbers have tended to tick up in recent years too.
“So there are still eager wannabe-journalists out there. And while many J-schools still don’t seem to have fully evolved their offerings for the digital age, I refuse to believe that some of these young folk aren’t smart enough to adapt to many of the exciting roles being created by the evolution of the media industry, or, indeed, to provide some cheaper labor for the mainstream players who are looking for greater cost efficiencies.”
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