Monday, January 04, 2016

Rural newspaper seeks 'reporter who reads'; owner says young reporters often not well-informed

A rural weekly in Idaho is trying a novel approach to hire a journalist who is well-informed about today's news. A job advertisement for the St. Maries Gazette Record stresses that the applicant must be a reader, Chris D'Angelo reports for The Huffington Post. Owner Dan Hammes said he "wants a journalist who is informed and curious—someone who is excited to learn about the world." Hammes told D'Angelo, "I'm old, and I'm grouchy. So many kids you hire these days don't read anything. Not to mention you can't write very well if you don't read." (Wikipedia map: St. Maries, Idaho)

D'Angelo writes, "While some might find Hammes' words harsh or pessimistic, he is anything but. There are talented, hungry reporters out there, he said, and the ad is his way of getting their attention so that he can offer one of them a good job." Hammes told D'Angelo, "I'm not going to hire the wrong person."

The ad states: "We have an opening for a reporter who reads. So . . . let's get the info about the community out of the way. Ours is a successful community newspaper in St. Maries, Idaho. This is a rural area. Think small town, rivers, lakes, mountains. Great outdoors recreation but no shopping centers, no crowds, no stoplights. If this appeals to you, you'll love it here. If you like shopping malls and Starbucks then you might want to move on to the next ad . . . It goes without saying the person we hire will be able to write, spell and edit. What also needs to be said is we prefer to hire reporters who read because we strongly believe that knowledgeable, informed people make superior reporters. We can excuse you if you have not read a book or two in a while, but the person we hire will be a newspaper reader. We are convinced that in order to be a respectable reporter, you must be informed."

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