Thursday, March 18, 2010

Looking for a job? Free dailies are hiring

While the paid-newspaper industry has been endlessly laying off journalists, free dailies are hiring. Take a look at Six free dailies have job openings:

Metro Boston is looking for a reporter. "This position is part our local news team, and will be part of a two-person reporting crew responsible for but not limited to covering the city of Boston in a way that will keep our readers informed, interested and intrigued. To further our efforts of reaching our core demographic -- 18-34 city-centric upwardly mobile men and women -- we must not only report the news, but find and package it in a way that makes it relevant to our readers. We produce a paper with our readers’ lifestyle in mind, and we are looking for a reporter who can do the same." In addition, "Metro offers a full benefits package (including medical, dental, 401K, paid vacation and more) along with a competitive base salary."

• The Telluride Daily Planet, a 5,000 circulation, five-day-a-week paper, is seeking a reporter who will "cover everything from the Telluride Bluegrass and Film festivals to $300 million bank fraud cases. This small town generates ample news and we need someone to help us sort through it to provide clear, accurate and insightful stories. This is by all means a blanket beat; you'll be asked to cover governments, sports, businesses and the ski area, not to mention anything else that comes along. We're a staff of three (yourself included), so you need to be comfortable working in every facet of small-town newspapering: copy editing, pulling wire off the AP, taking a photo, updating the Web site — it all comes down to you. We expect about two stories a day, with longer features for our Sunday papers. If you aren't a clean, self-reliant writer this isn't the post for you. Your work week is usually Tuesday-Saturday, and we go down to four days a week in the shoulder season (six weeks or so in both the spring and fall)."

• In Palo Alto, California, the town's most controversial paper, The Daily Post, is looking for a reporter. "Palo Alto never has a slow news day. Our challenge is covering all of the news that happens here." The ad includes a link to a New York Times story about the newspaper war in that town, where the publisher of the paper, Dave Price, is labeled a "contrarian."

• The Washington Examiner is looking for freelancers to cover real estate. "Some assignments may be only once or twice a year while some could develop into a regular weekly check. You can set your own hours as long as you meet deadlines and are able to report in a professional manner on the real estate, design and building communities." One word of caution, though: while the Examiner is big on the Internet, don't send the real estate editor links to your stories -- she wants clips of printed articles.

• The best job advertised is that of Entertainment Editor at The Washington Post's free daily, The Express. "The ideal candidate will have a solid working knowledge of pop culture and at least two years' experience in a news-gathering environment. He or she must demonstrate seasoned editorial judgment and a mastery of grammar, story-telling structure and AP style. Exceptional headline- and caption-writing skills are essential, as are basic skills in online publishing and page layout. A keen sense of humor is key."

Who could pass up a job where a sense of humor is key?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Aspen paper silent after editor let off of DUI charge

In Aspen, Colorado — a city with two free daily newspapers — a police officer has been fired after she decided not to charge the editor of one of the papers with DUI following a conversation in which he offered her favorable coverage.

A 26-minute conversation between Aspen Daily News Editor Troy Hooper and Officer Valerie McFarlane was caught on a recording device in her police car, according to the rival Aspen Times.

On the tape of the Feb. 19 episode, Hooper discussed his coverage of the police department, including his reporting on McFarlane.

"You have also been fairly or unfairly put in a position. Not only am I willing to give you the opportunity to walk away from that, I'll give you a few of those opportunities, I really will."

He thanks McFarlane “for not f----ing with me as bad as you could have.”

He continues: “I want to give you a second chance just like you are giving me a second chance. Easily you could put me in jail and say ‘You know what, this guy's been drinking, blah, blah, blah' ... You could find a case. It wouldn't go very far. I have good attorneys, but ...”

The police department fired McFarlane on Feb. 26, but what about Hooper? So far the Aspen Daily News, owned by Dave Danforth, hasn't written a word about the story, though Hooper's name continues to appear on bylines and in the staff box of his own paper.

Meanwhile, The Aspen Times is not only running stories about the incident but also letters to the editor from readers.

In one letter, reader Denise Malcolm suggested the Daily News change its slogan of "If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen” to “If you don't want it printed, then strike a deal with one of our ethically challenged reporters or editors.”

Paper drops home delivery program

The Santa Barbara Daily Sound, a free daily, is dropping its home delivery program "because of the current economic situation."

The Daily Sound, which started in 2006, began delivering to homes on April 29, 2008, a move that increased its circulation to an even 10,000.

"With significantly less demand than our free distribution, home delivery simply was too costly for us to continue."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New owner of Arizona paper cuts newsroom

Veteran free-daily publisher Randy Miller wasted no time to cut costs after receiving a bankruptcy judge's approval to buy the East Valley Tribune in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. The Phoenix Business Journal says Miller laid off roughly two dozen people in the Tribune's newsroom, leaving a staff of 14. Miller is the former publisher of the Colorado Daily in Boulder and currently owns the Telluride (Colorado) Daily Planet and Tucson's alt-weekly, The Explorer. He bought the Tribune from Freedom Communicationsn of Irvine, Calif. The deal reportedly included presses Freedom installed a couple of years ago for $4 million.