There’s something I find endearingly quaint everytime I get an e-mail that makes me remember that I’m still signed up for the Associated Press Recruiting Center announcements. It’s kinda like still checking daily surf reports from a beach you no longer live by or looking at the weather for the town you grew up in. Ah, so young and innocent and carefree we were.
I signed up for this in probably 2006 as part of my scorched earth policy of applying for newspaper and reporter jobs from coast to coast. Which means the AP database still has some ancient, typo-ridden version of my resume, along with the oddly inspecific cover letter you have to upload as well, and my job notification preferences are probably limited to some sort of combination of entry level mid level senior level reporter copy editor news assistant in any state warm or on the West Coast or with a big city.
All that for naught, of course. Despite this and all the hundreds of clips I sent out over the years, I never got a different writing gig until I quit my newspaper job and moved up to New York with no promise of employment.
The AP job alerts have dropped dramatically over the past five years. When there used to be one or two a week, now sometimes I’ll only get one a month, and often they’re for less intriguing offers, such as: “Architect, Portals and Consumer Web for its Cranbury location.”
But every now and then, one comes along to revive the dream of working for the nation’s top newswire. Such as this one which came on Wednesday:
10033437 — Correspondent
The Associated Press is seeking a correspondent for its bureau in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The correspondent will be part of a multi-format team aggressively pursuing spot and enterprise stories while developing sources so that he or she can break news and produce exclusive coverage in an often-difficult environment. The correspondent will report to the Chief of Caribbean News and work closely with other AP staff in Latin America, in all formats, to develop distinctive and competitive coverage of earthquake reconstruction and political developments, as well as cultural and human interest stories.
The Haiti Correspondent:
• Writes accurately and quickly on deadline.
• Aggressively pursues breaking news.
• Conceives of, reports and writes compelling enterprise.
• Develops sources and beats to produce original reporting.
• Takes into account the needs of all formats when reporting.
Candidates should have demonstrated strong news judgment, excellence in reporting and writing, including the ability to develop sources, break news and produce original stories about complex issues in a clear and engaging way. He or she must: be able to work efficiently and accurately in breaking news situations; have experience in difficult environments and covering social unrest, with an ability to evaluate security conditions and take appropriate steps for the correspondent’s own safety and that of colleagues; have strong organizational skills, with proven ability to juggle multiple stories across formats; speak and write advanced-level English as well as at least one other language of the region (Spanish, French or Haitian Creole); be able to work long hours when required and be willing to travel to the neighboring Dominican Republic or elsewhere in the region to help cover news as needed. The correspondent will be required to live in Port-au-Prince.
Hey, at least they’re still hiring somewhere. And somewhere that certainly needs reporters.