Washington Post seeks blogger for Style section

The Washington Post’s arts and living section, Style, is looking for a blogger, an internal announcement reads. Whoever lands this position may want to invest in a serious coffee machine:

This blogger should be able to identify trends, cutting through the noise of the Internet to bring context and perspective to a Washington audience. We envision at least a dozen pieces of content per day, with the knowledge that one great sentence can equal one great post.

The job “will require early mornings to get a start on the day’s news and may sometimes require late nights covering awards shows and other live events,” the listing says. In a follow-up email, Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron explained that “there will be a lead blogger, but that blogger will not be responsible for all posts. The entire Style staff and others in our newsroom, will write posts. Some posts can be as short as a sentence or as simple as a link.”

Elizabeth Flock resigned from her blogging position at the Post last year after failing to credit another news outlet in an aggregated piece. Patrick Pexton, then the paper’s ombudsman, warned against the high-volume, low-oversight blogging she and other Post bloggers told him she was required to do. Post bloggers, he wrote, “said that they felt as if they were out there alone in digital land, under high pressure to get Web hits, with no training, little guidance or mentoring and sparse editing.”

Guidelines for aggregating stories are almost nonexistent, they said. And they believe that, even if they do a good job, there is no path forward. Will they one day graduate to a beat, covering a crime scene, a city council or a school board? They didn’t know. So some left; others are thinking of quitting.

Here’s the memo for the job:

Style is looking for a tenacious blogger to spearhead a new digital mission. This writer will be responsible for leading an of-the-moment conversation about the day’s culture news and helping create a dynamic digital home for Style.

The ideal candidate would have experience reporting, writing and producing online content as well as a proven fluency in social media. We need someone with the confidence to work independently, but also a team player who can collaborate with our critics, columnists and reporters.

This blogger should be able to identify trends, cutting through the noise of the Internet to bring context and perspective to a Washington audience. We envision at least a dozen pieces of content per day, with the knowledge that one great sentence can equal one great post. This assignment requires not only the ability to aggregate content, but the skill to execute the types of stories that others will aggregate and share. We are looking for someone who will not just be part of the cultural conversation, but lead it.

This is a job that will require early mornings to get a start on the day’s news and may sometimes require late nights covering awards shows and other live events. For example, a recent Monday may have seen posts on topics including: Justin Timberlake’s rumored second album of the year; the History Channel’s controversial depiction of Satan as someone who looks like President Obama; reactions to media coverage of the Steubenville rape trial verdict; the recovery of a long-lost Rembrandt self-portrait; the new Beyonce song; a follow-up to that day’s “The bucks start here” feature in the Style section; reflections on the season finale of “Girls”; and more.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated one of the names of the memo writers. It has also been updated to clarify the responsibilities required of the Style blogger.

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/DanSWright Daniel Wright

    Way to tone done your post coward.

  • http://twitter.com/Ashley_Melissa Ashley

    Am I completely just missing where they say HOW to apply for the job? I’m a young journalist looking for a break and would gladly take a position like this.

  • Andy_Beatgozon

    Is it possible the Washington Post reporters aren’t doing their jobs?

  • paulejb

    I would give it a shot if they made it worth my while.

  • Nate M.

    Did they actually open this up for applicants? I’ve read a lot about the job opp. but have yet to see an open call/application portal for it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Royce/100001135387193 Edward Royce

    But then at that point … who needs the Post?

    If you are getting 12+ pieces a day, every day since they do not specify if you get weekends off (I assume you do not) then that will be about 4,400 pieces a year. All topical, timely, aggregating and aggregated. With that kind of production why work for the Post when you can build your own brand?

  • http://www.planetpeschel.com Bill Peschel

    Here’s the telling quote: “This assignment requires not only the ability to aggregate content, but the skill to execute the types of stories that others will aggregate and share.”

    Easy-peasy. This job will dovetail nicely with self-publishing “50 Shades of Sensibility,” my dystopian romance about an S&M relationship, and my part-time work creating viral YouTube videos.

  • http://twitter.com/elicenter Eli Center

    (which is not intended as a compliment.)

  • http://twitter.com/elicenter Eli Center

    12 posts / day could work, but only if If the journalistic standard the Washington Post is going for is that of, say, Betsy Rothstein of MediaBistro’s FishbowlDC.

  • http://twitter.com/BrianFair Brian Fairbanks

    Yes, but how long are these “posts” and how much do they pay for each (day)? That’s all that matters.

  • http://twitter.com/nickcicero Nick Cicero

    Holy moly.

  • http://twitter.com/fridrix Frederick Ingram

    Twelve tweets a day?? That is, like, #slavelabor ! LOL.

  • http://twitter.com/allyourtv Rick Ellis

    It’s easy to look at the posting requirements and think they’re a bit insane. But it’s not really all that different than the pace I crank out as a freelancer and someone who also runs my own web site. It can be frantic at times, but it’s very doable if you’re good at time management and can write quickly and confidently.

  • Guest

    They want what HuffPo has, but the lift ‘n rewrite method is actually a pretty easy job with a quote of a dozen or so stories per day. Don’t even need a coffee maker for that…

  • http://twitter.com/DanSWright Daniel Wright

    12 times a day!?!?

  • JTFloore

    I hope the post will require senior editors — and particularly the obviously clueless person who came up with this idea and wrote the job description — to go through this kind of production just, you know, so they will have some awareness of the work their underlings are expected to do. (I wonder how much the gig pays. any overtime?) of course, it all depends on how much of a blog each blog has to be.