59 journalism jobs: what are employers after?

Reading through one of Paul Bradshaw’s slideshows, I was impressed by a word cloud created by Eric Ulken, which summarises the technical knowledge required in various online journalism job descriptions (from January 2008).

Which got me to thinking – I wonder where we are in terms of converged journalism in practice in the UK today.

What are those skills being sought by journalism employers today, and to what extent do they support notions of convergence in journalism?

So I took the latest 25 results from journalism.co.uk’s jobs feed.

I then manually scraped the job descriptions from 24 results from this search of guardian jobs for the term journalism, and took the 10 results for a search of the BBC jobs site for journalist.

Once I’d dumped all this content in a .txt file (nb: this file is very messy) I then iteratively stripped out lots of unhelpful words like ‘skills’, ‘knowledge’, ‘experience’, ‘role’ ‘salary’, and any numbers, as well as those repeated BBC-speak terms – they have a core template of qualities for pretty much all of their jobs.

Caveats apply – for example, I noticed at least one job description saying technical skills were *not* necessary – so I’ve removed that particular term.

So here are the results:

 UK journalism jobs text cloud

Text cloud for UK journalism jobs

After ‘news’, ‘radio’ is the biggest term, while the terms ‘broadcast’ and ‘writing’ are roughly equal, a tier down the pecking order. What to make of this given the weighting of BBC jobs isn’t absolutely clear, but the fact that ‘online’ is smaller than any of the above in this analysis can’t be ignored.

The prevalence of B2B jobs, and their impact on journalism is certainly reflected in the relative popularity of words like ‘business’, ‘client’, ‘financial’,’industry’, ‘sales’, and ‘market’.

These results include several non-traditional journalism jobs, such as for communications officers for charities and PR companies, and a number of B2B jobs in financial journalism.

Speaking of PR, churnalism watchers will be drawn to the relatively high distribution of PR jobs in these journalism listings, as evidenced by the term ‘communications’.

All references to ‘equipment’ (quite small) come from the BBC jobs – suggesting that technical skills are not so highly prized, as those traditional journalistic domains, including ‘stories’, ‘production’, ‘judgement’ and even ‘live’.

Elementary aspects of the profession, such as ‘current’, ‘daily’, ‘ideas’, ‘events’, are pretty easy to find.

One final thing that really jumped out at me was the size of ‘team’ in these results.

Journalists are often portrayed as an individualistic bunch, which is something I’ve had reinforced by experience, and there’s no doubt that a competitive edge informs newsroom politics.

But these results demonstrate that teamwork is nevertheless clearly a valued attribute in all sorts of journalism. And those who make good team-workers within the confines of the office are likely to make good collaborators with the former audience out in hyperspace, as news continues converging.

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One Response to “59 journalism jobs: what are employers after?”

  1. Slewfootsnop: What are employers advertising for in journalism job ads? | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog Says:

    […] [He explains the process in full in his blog post.] […]

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