Looking to hire a writer? Check your comments section

Columbia Journalism Review

It makes sense to mine the comments and find someone whose writing voice matches that of the site. "Daily Kos embraces this idea fully, hiring almost exclusively from its comments section," writes Alysia Santo. Gawker Media's Nick Denton is known to put commenters on the payroll, too. Ryan Tate was hired after he mocked a job posting on Gawker looking for writers. Richard Lawson posted comments on Gawker as LOLcait while he sold ads for Gawker Media. “I just wanted to prove to myself that I could participate in this thing,” he says. “Then I kind of became addicted to it.” Denton eventually moved him to editorial. The Gawker Media boss notes that the comments section design has been changed so that comments are displayed in the same width and in the same font as the body of the article. “We want to treat the best of the comments with the typographic respect that we’d give to an article produced by one of our writers.”

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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