The Chicago Tribune’s interactive division is hoping to hire a journalist specialising in interactive database production of the sort Adrian Holovaty has been advocating.
The requirements for the job are pretty demanding:
- 2-5 years’ experience with databases, preferably in a newsroom
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or related discipline
- Computer-assisted reporting background or similar
- Demonstrated knowledge of statistics, statistical analysis, etc.
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Experience in database content entry and management
- Broad experience with data sources, data mining and database
- Familiarity with database interfaces and web presentation layers
- Basic knowledge of HTML and Flash required; advanced skills
A journalism or English graduate with quantitative and technical skills to go with a deep understanding of how the web works. There aren’t many people with that skillset.
What’s worse, I can’t imagine how anyone would obtain those skills through conventional journalism education.
I can’t think of any journalism course in Britain that prepares students for a career path that might eventually involve applying for a job like this — although I’d love to be corrected if I’m wrong.
Update 9/3: There has been a lot of activity on this topic since I posted this. Adrian Holovaty is hiring at WashingtonPost.com, while Matt Waite counsels newspapers stop looking for the next Holovaty and to concentrate on finding these skills among existing staff. Meanwhile, Mark Glaser of MediaShift has a great report on what various other US newspapers are doing in this area.