NYT and the ultimate job requirements of the modern journalist

A job advert landed in my inbox for an ‘interactive story designer’ at the New York Times.

I reproduce it in full as a guide to where we should be at as digital-era journalists. The ad outlines tech/coding skills requirements, with the assumption that the candidate will have a news nose and journalistic flair.

Whether you’re a puppy of a hack or an old dog considering new tricks, I suggest pinning it up somewhere and internalising the skills list. In five years or less, it will be standard across all newsrooms:

The Digital News Design group at The New York Times seeks a technology-savvy Interactive Story Designer to join our award-winning multimedia producers in the newsroom. This person will be expected to work with reporters, editors, producers, designers and software developers across The Times to craft rich, multimedia experiences for both news and enterprise stories, across multiple platforms.

Expertise with web development — especially using Javascript, HTML and CSS — is required, and experience with video, audio, photography and/or game mechanics is a plus. All candidates must possess a portfolio demonstrating strong design work, a solid understanding of layout, typography and storytelling techniques, and a smart UX sensibility. Candidates will be expected to be quick learners with creative ideas and have the proven ability to work collaboratively.

Job Requirements:

•Expertise in client-side Web development, including Javascript, HTML and CSS. High proficiency with XML/XSL, scripting issues across different browsers and platforms, and Javascript frameworks.
•A pragmatic innovator whose solutions elicit responses that justify the effort and investment.
•Demonstrated ability to create presentations that intelligently incorporate audio, video and still images.
•Strong visual & interactive design skills – a clear grasp of typography, layout, color, motion, and behavior.
•Ability to convey interactive story ideas and complex interactions with wire-frames or prototypes.
•Experience working with server-side languages, such as PHP and Ruby, is a plus.
•Attention to detail and excellent written and oral communication skills.
•Ability to meet deadlines and to adapt to change in a daily, unpredictable news production environment.
•Experience working collaboratively with members of a mixed-media team.
•Willingness to work a flexible schedule that may include nights and weekends.
•A keen interest in and knowledge of NYTimes.com’s competitors, both in the United States and abroad.
Enthusiasm – for designing and making great products and experiences, for current events and The New York Times – is essential. Original, flexible, critical thinkers who communicate and collaborate well with a wide range of contributors will thrive. Design team members are expected not only to make exceptional contributions to the presentation of our journalism, but to engage with others to foster an environment of learning and constructive dialogue about our work.

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