Social Media Skills & the Journalism Job Hunt

Social Media for the Job SearchJoe Grimm, visiting journalist at the Michigan State University School of Journalism, wrote about media careers in Poynter Online’s Ask the Recruiter column. In yesterday’s article, “The Social Media Skills You Need to Qualify for Journalism Jobs,” Grimm took a look at the social media skills needed by job hunters in the journalism field. He quoted job ads from ABC 7 Los Angeles, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Hillsdale Daily News (Michigan), all of which have requested social media expertise of some kind. The Orlando Sentinel reporter position¬†even doubled as social media coordinator.

Grimm also interviewed a few colleagues in the industry about their views on social media skills, some of whom have hiring power within their organizations. Some of the highlights include:

  • Steve Buttry, Editor & Publisher‘s editor of the year for his work at Gazette Communications in Iowa, said, “I’m not interested in somebody who claims to be a social media expert, but I am interested in someone who claims to be a social media student. Somebody who thinks they understand it all indicates that they don’t.”
  • Lori Todd, interim online community manager for the Knight Foundation, said that the two most important social media skills for a journalist to have are listening to the conversations on Twitter and participating in those conversations.
  • Mallory Colliflower, social media coordinator at AutoNation, said that one’s mindset is more important than the tools he or she uses. That’s a sentiment shared by both Todd and by Mackenzie Warren, director of content at Gannett Digital. Warren said that social media job qualifications are really about “a philosophy and an understanding.”
  • Jodi Gersh, content manager for social media at Gannett Digital, said, “It is essential at this point that all properties have someone focused on social media.” Warren, her co-worker, added that “social media is not the social media editor’s job only.”

At the end of his article, Grimm compiled a list of 6 Ways to Raise Your Social Media IQ, including being active on several sites rather than focusing all of your time on one, and using tools to streamline your platform usage.

 

Source: “The Social Media Skills You Need to Qualify for Journalism Jobs,” Poynter Online, 03/16/10
Image by deanmeyersnet, used under its Creative Commons license.

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