It was revealed on Twitter today that the old Johnson/Dennison positions at Lee Enterprises are up for grabs.
I think I’ll apply. Let’s take a look at what this entails.
Both of these new reporters “will serve five Lee Montana properties,” the ad says, and those are The Ravalli Republic, The Missoulian, The Helena Independent Record, The Montana Standard and The Billings Gazette. The first job is called “State reporter (narrative and news feature)”
The job description says that someone who “can unearth the journalistic treasures in the Treasure State” and has a “storytelling style that matches the unique nature of Montana,” is what they’re looking for.
Personally, I would have avoided the repetition of “treasures in the Treasure State” myself, but that’s just an element of style. I would also like to be filled in more on this “unique nature of Montana,” or to put it more bluntly, for someone to tell me what the hell this is. I suppose if you’re applying for the job, however, you should know this, or at least be darn good at pretending you do.
It’s also critical that this new reporter has “a narrative voice that’s as smooth as Neversweat Bourbon.” Wow, was the boss at the Filipino copywriting center away with his mistress again? How’d that get in there!
One reason I know I’d be good at this job is because we’re looking at “the day’s or year’s most pressing issue” so that we can “examine how it affects Montanans.” I like looking at pressing issues and examining them, and you know that from the stuff you’ve read on this site, which doesn’t have the same length limitations as the newspapers do. Still, it’s hard to pick a single “most pressing issue” for the year.
I like the fact that the “candidate can live anywhere in the state” and that they need to be “extremely well organized.”
With the internet, it’s also pretty easy to “work remotely with several newsrooms” so that they can get “incisive, accurate and timely copy.” And of course you know that anyone taking this job will be “digitally savvy enough to build an audience that spans the state.” Young people have no problem with “mastery of digital tools” and I think we all know that.
The applicant also shouldn’t be “afraid to leave the office to talk to people across the state,” even its “far-flung corners.”
This position is the one that will be in Helena, I’m almost positive. “While this reporter can live anywhere in the state,” the ad claims, “we will give strong consideration to their proximity to Helena, the state’s capital, and nerve center for politics.”
It’s clear in both ads that these jobs are interrelated. “This reporter will work as a member of a two-person team,” the ads mention frequently.
After that, both jobs are pretty much identical.
Well, let’s be honest – they give benefits. That means healthcare. Right now lots of younger people like me don’t have that, so that’s a bonus.
So what would I do? I guess I’d have to dust off my resume and type up a new cover letter (this post will serve as a good rough draft). Then I need to get “three professional references.”
Damn, this is always the part that gets me.
- First of all, for five years I was out of the country;
- Next, the references I do have are super old;
- Finally, none of them really pertain to this job.
So that’s a problem. One reference letter I have is from 2001. Another is from 2010, and written by a Chinese person that can’t write that well. The third is…well, that’s it – I don’t have a third.
- Maybe I can call up UM Campus Fitness and Recreation and get my old boss there to write one. I was a pretty good window cleaner.
- Restaurants are never a good bet, as I’m sure all of my old bosses at those places would have headed for greener pastures by now…I hope.
- The reviews and testimonials I have on my Services Page just don’t seem appropriate for this job, although contacting some of them by email could be an option.
So that’s where I’m at – the reference letter stage. If I had those all collected, I could shoot this resume off to the Billings office and be done with it.
Would I get the job?
I doubt it. I applied to the Missoula Independent a month ago and there was no interest there.
I think other reporters would be intimidated by me and my knowledge of the state. Resentment would set in at the level of work I’m able to maintain. I’d start to make the long-time employees look bad with my output and quality. Dissension would form in the ranks. Management would be blamed. The stock price would fall. Layoffs…bankruptcy…Armageddon.
Now that I think about it, maybe these two jobs are best left to the “professionals.”
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