Saturday, September 22, 2012

USAT | Here's the challenge on the home front

Based on this job description, it appears just one person is responsible for doing everything to maintain USA Today's homepage -- on the overnight shift, anyway. This job description apparently was posted yesterday.

Key responsibilities include (and this is verbatim):
  • Prioritize content on’s home and news pages, as well as mobile products, based on news value and interest to a general online audience, reflecting the quality and diversity of the USA Today brand
  • Publish breaking news quickly and accurately to beat the competition, including sending alerts and ensuring delivery to various platforms
  • Select and publish stories, writing headlines, SEO keywords and summaries and integrating video, photos and interactive elements
  • Monitor performance of digital platforms, using data of audience traffic and behaviors to drive improvements as appropriate
Somewhat alarmingly, the qualifications include "at least 3 years of digital editorial experience preferred." (Emphasis added.)

As I post this, the lead story on USAT's homepage is: Some still waiting for pre-ordered iPhone 5s.


  1. They'll hire another 22 year old "news editor" who doesnt know a fucking thing. She"ll take her orders from a 26 year old who has never reported, written or edited at a professional level above intern.

    They drove an actual journalist from this job for no other reason than he was a veteran drawing a decent salary. This is how the company treats you if you are 55 or older. Unless you have friends in high places.

  2. The overnight job description makes it obvious that there are unrealistic expectations and a cruel burden on the employee. The arrangement is not good for the worker, the company, and, ultimately, the reader. The job responsibilities should be modified to be more reasonable and sustainable. Or the duties should be split between two people.

  3. Two 20somethings are cheap. But you get what you pay for.
    Better to move an underworked editor to the job. There are plenty of them here.


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