Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Matthew Doig has written what Mother Jones calls “the best journalism-job want ad ever.” His search for an investigative reporter — a “sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch” — is all over Twitter and journalists’ Facebook pages. Doig talks to Romenesko about the ad after the jump.
Matthew Doig: Earlier this afternoon I said to my colleague that the job post was blowing up the Internet, but really I was just joking because I’d seen it on one blog. Then an hour later I got a call from a Washington Post online reporter who said she was going to write about it because it’s “blowing up on the Internet.” So I went back to my colleague and told him, Washington Post is confirming my initial report.
How many applications have you received?
I actually put the job up on NICARL on Monday, 3/14. So I had a flurry of candidates apply then, but I’ve had a bunch more today since this has inexplicably echoed back on me 10 days later. In total, I probably have 15-20 candidates so far.
Have you posted other “non-traditional” help-wanted notices?
This was my first job post. But I took a similar approach when I was looking for a job about 10 years ago. I wrote what you’d probably consider a “non-traditional” cover letter figuring that anybody who didn’t like it would also not like me (and vice-versa). The guy who hired me at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Chris Davis, told me he never even read the clips I sent. He just loved the cover letter. And he and I have gotten along about as well as any reporter and editor can, so my strategy must have worked.
Have you heard from Walt Bogdanich about being mentioned in the ad?
I have not heard from Walt and hope he will feel amused, flattered and greatly threatened by the post. In all seriousness, I put his name in there because I think the guy puts together a perfect investigative project. His work should be studied in every journalism class.