There’s been some interesting reaction to the job advertisements put out this week by The Guardian for the project I’m involved in.
Beatblogger isn’t a job title used much here in the UK as yet, and it’s prompted some common questions in the comments section of the initial news story about Guardian local, and elsewhere, which I thought I’d pick up here.
In addition, any potential applicants are invited to put their questions during a forum I’m taking part in about developing journalism roles which will be held next Thursday, October 22 between 1pm and 4pm at http://careers.guardian.co.uk/forums
Back to those points;
* Firstly, pay.
Although it’s normal practice for The Guardian not to state pay grades in its job ads (in common with many other news organisations), these are full-time paid positions.
* Are these bloggers, journalists?
All Media Scotland was one of those which asked if the term “beatblogger” was a new word for journalist. This is a role which has specific attributes and skills used to create a beat blog, a good definition of which is provided here by New York’s Prof Jay Rosen an extract from which states:
“Content-wise, a beat blog presents a regular flow of reporting and commentary in a focused area the beat covers; it provides links and online resources in that area, and it tracks the subject over time.”
For anyone interested in the specifics of what will be entailed, there’s detailed descriptions at the links at the bottom of the ads – this is the one for the Cardiff post, but the descriptions for Leeds and Edinburgh are just the same.
* What about experience?
This job could well appeal to experienced reporters with great contacts from traditional backgrounds but is just as likely to attract people who’ve set up community websites or blogs and have a passion for their locality. Rather than be too prescriptive about background, we’re asking people to demonstrate why they believe they would be successful in the role and how they feel equipped to cover the city.
Any potential applicants with further questions can log on to the forum debate next Thursday, October 22 between 1pm and 4pm at http://careers.guardian.co.uk/forums and it would be great to hear from any beatbloggers out there who want to share their experiences or offer any advice to potential applicants.