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Star Tribune editorial page gets in on the hiring act

6 p.m. Monday update: The ad just went up on Pay is swell: $70,000-plus; it’s grouped in the $75,000-$100,000 category. Safe to assume this is not an entry-level position.

In recent months, the Star Tribune has been replacing experienced journalists and adding a handful of young reporters. Now, the editorial pages are on the verge of staffing up.

The Strib has posted a position for an editorial writer (see below for job description) who ideally has “experience writing about national issues, including Congress, federal regulatory agencies and national politics.”

This marks a departure from three years ago, when then-publisher Chris Harte lamented an excess of national and international editorials (even if some found that a fig leaf for making the section less liberal or aggressive).

Anyway, like other sections of the paper, the Strib opinionators have been thwacked pretty hard in the past few years. In January, they lost a couple more bodies.

None of those cut this winter were full-time editorial writers, so the new position represents an added voice just as the political endorsement season peaks. Last year, the then-bankrupt paper had to do so much triage that endorsement cutbacks protected some incumbents who deserved scrutiny.

Editorial page editor Scott Gillespie eventually found a way to review additional races; one hopes the new hire makes this year’s task easier.

The internal posting says there’s no preferred candidate, and gives a deadline of Sept. 7, a week from Tuesday.

While the Strib has hired non-journalists such as ex-adman John Rash in recent years, this posting seems pretty j-focused. The last line reads, “We’re looking for a journalist with strong, well-developed nonpartisan views who will avoid rigid dogmatism.”

Here’s the whole thing:

The Star Tribune is seeking an experienced and multi-skilled editorial writer who can work as a collaborative member of an award-winning Editorial Board to produce sophisticated opinion page journalism in print and online.

Versatility will be essential in this position. The successful candidate must be a strong writer with a track record of producing high-quality, deeply reported editorials on a range of topics. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience writing about national issues, including Congress, federal regulatory agencies and national politics.

What makes this position unique is the need for a combination of writing, web skills and occasional editing. We’re looking for an innovative journalist who has hands-on experience working with content on the web who can help our staff improve and expand its web presence and effectively use blogging, social media, video and other tools to help grow readership.

Although the majority of the writer’s time will be spent on writing and web work, he or she must have editing skills and experience working with writers to sharpen content.

Because of the changing nature of opinion journalism and the ambitious goals we have for our work, we’re seeking candidates who can work in a collaborative, fast-paced culture and seamlessly handle a variety of responsibilities as part of a team whose members must remain flexible to meet the department’s goals.

The successful candidate will be a member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board and must be comfortable writing as a representative of the institutional voice of the Star Tribune, while also providing bylined blog posts and columns.

We’re looking for a journalist with strong, well-developed nonpartisan views who will avoid rigid dogmatism. 

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by B Maginnis on 08/30/2010 - 10:25 pm.


    Imagine all the exciting help wanted ads there will be once we get his country turned around in November!

  2. Submitted by rolf westgard on 08/31/2010 - 03:21 am.

    The Star Tribune needs somebody who can edit scientific and energy subjects. The recent Nick Coleman piece on nuclear energy was replete with evidence that he knew nothing about the subject. He even has the Monticello plant ready to close when the NRC has just granted a 20 year life extension. I have yet to see one piece in the Strib on energy issues from a writer with any technical knowledge.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/31/2010 - 12:54 pm.

    That the NRC has extended the “life” of the Monticello reactor by 20 years doesn’t necessarily mean it has that long to live.

  4. Submitted by Nick Coleman on 08/31/2010 - 04:44 pm.

    Mr Westegard: Blow it out your cooling stack. What I wrote — and what remains true — is that both MN nuclear plants are at the end of their “originally” planned 40-year lifespan. Yes, they may be used for another 20 years, but they clearly are coming to the end of their usefulness, especially since there are no long-term solutions for waste storage in sight. Rather than pick nits with me (I am no expert, I grant you) why not argue with the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Fresh Energy and other critics who oppose ending the moratorium?
    It isn’t MY view that ticks you off.

  5. Submitted by Hal Sanders on 09/01/2010 - 11:09 am.

    Mr. Coleman: Did the NRC or did it not give the Monticello plant a 20-year life extension?

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