Mobile Producer – Ideating a Job Description


Important Qualities

Originally uploaded by ericaamerica08

Today I applied for a job as a Mobile Producer at Allbritton Communications – the parent company of Politico that is about to launch a new news organization, one that will serve the Washington, D.C. metro area and work to shape the “future of local news.”

Not long after I applied, I received a note back from Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at Allbritton. He wanted to know – what are my thoughts for the job description, his or her duties and the process of the producer? Luckily I think I have this one down – and I’m so glad he asked.

Job Description: Mobile Producer

• Must have ability to produce multi-platform stories
• Must be technology agnostic
• Must demonstrate editorial judgment
• Must have story instinct

The Mobile producer must demonstrate the ability to combine traditional values of journalism (integrity, fairness, balance, pursuit of truth and focus on the facts) with the social media code of conduct – transparency, collaboration, crowd sourcing and audience interaction, among others.

The Mobile producer must be in tune with the rapid changes in the media and adapt, every day, testing new newsgathering, production and story telling techniques. He or she must be able to (1) develop original content (2) aggregate that content and (3) provide deeper context to select stories in the format of research-based blog posts, long form videos, interviews, etc.

The Mobile producer must be aware that distribution of the story is just as important as the newsgathering process. Working with the social media producer and strategists, the Mobile producer will assist in listening to the target audience, seeding the stories in communities and be nimble enough to identify and react to the best distribution techniques. The Mobile producer must take seriously the responsibility of being an intelligent filter and creator of news to the residents of metro D.C.

The Mobile producer is fearless. He or she must always have gear in pockets and be ready to catch or chase a story.

The Mobile producer must care about providing information to the residents in the Washington, D.C. metro area, a city that is unique in that it has no vote in Congress, experiences high crime, low high school graduation rates, and is seat to the most powerful government in the world.

The Mobile producer, in an ideal world, is Erica Anderson!

What else should I add? Do you think I have what it takes?

6 comments

Add Yours
  1. Colleen Butz

    As a former co-worker, I would like to reference Erica Anderson’s attributes and how they align with, if not enhance, the Mobile Producer opportunity with Allbritton Communications.

    In addition to being fearless, Erica Anderson knows no bounds. She is not limited by location, time or the “status quo” mindset. Erica certainly demonstrated this when she produced weekly news stories as MTV’s Street Team ’08 DC citizen journalist, in addition to her full-time job with at a PR firm. Erica is not only crafty and proficient in multi-platform stories, technology, editorial judgment and story instinct, but she also approaches each opportunity with a comprehensive strategy. When I started working with Erica on The Full Spectrum Blog, Erica encouraged me to expand upon the written word and integrate an array of tools to enhance my posts and virally spread my posts. Whenever I write a blog post, I think to myself “What would Erica do?”.

    After reading the Mobile Producer job description and working with Erica over the past three years, I can confidently say that Erica would not only fulfill the position requirements, but she would be a strong, solid addition to the Allbritton team.

  2. Susannah Fox

    Since I’ve been interviewed by Erica, I can tell you that she does her homework and asks questions that spark new connections for me in my own work. Plus she has a steady cam hand and somehow finds good light in whatever location she’s in – brains AND skills. I’d try to hire her if Pew Research had the budget for a mobile producer!

  3. Debbie Weil

    Note to Steve Buttry (you’re reading this, right?!):

    You’d be nuts not to hire Erica. Her biggest strength is understanding old fashioned news values and how to combine them with social media news gathering and dissemination.

    This part of her job description is esp. spot on:

    “The Mobile producer must demonstrate the ability to combine traditional values of journalism (integrity, fairness, balance, pursuit of truth and focus on the facts) with the social media code of conduct – transparency, collaboration, crowd sourcing and audience interaction, among others.”

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