June 5, 2007

Las Vegas Sun wants multimedia journalists

The Las Vegas Sun will relaunch their website this summer under the new leadership of Dave Toplikar, who visited U Iowa in March. They want to push the envelope of multimedia storytelling and explore how to tell news creatively with the help of digital tools.

Toplikar sent me the profiles they are looking for, a good guide to understand how the online media industry is evolving. A combination of technical skills and reporting experience is the bottom line:

- Flash Designer: We are looking for someone who is good at building flash
graphics and 3D motion graphics to go with analytical news stories written
by our reporters. This position would also work with photographers on
enhancing their flash graphic skills. And this person would work with our
artist and cartoonist on animating their work.
- Videographer: We are looking for someone who has skills at shooting,
editing and processing video news stories for the Web. I was hoping to find
someone who has shot and produced TV-station quality video who could help
us also help the Sun create a new video identity online.
- Web Content Editor: This person would work with reporters and editors at
building deep, evergreen content sites that would contain granular content
about specific Las Vegas area topics. This person would need to be a good
writer and also have multimedia Web skills.
- Web Technician: This person would have all the skills of a multimedia
reporter, but would mostly do processing work at a desk. The person would
process video, audio and provide other assistance for the multimedia for
our daily updates and for our deep content sites. Skills in editing video
and audio clips, helping to create podcasts and vodcast will be essential.
As discussed by Mindy McAdams some months ago, few Journalism graduates would easily fit these profiles. In my Online Journalism course I'm trying to give the students the basic bricks for a job like these offered by Las Vegas Sun: awareness of the technological options, ability to learn to use new tools and critical thinking to decide when and how to use any storytelling strategy. This might not be enough, but Dave Toplikar told me he really wants to get journalists not just technical staff. And a journalist with the right attitude will quickly learn how to put together the puzzle of multimedia storytelling.