Job fairs and journalism: Pretending to add value

7 May
Job Fair: "Big success" or little value?

Job Fair: "Big success" or little value?

Jim Romenesko’s Poynter Institute blog contains an item: How to make media criticism more civil, smarter and more effective. Tim McGuire, Media Cronkite School professor and former Star Tribune editor, offers “If media criticism is going to be taken seriously I think the vitriol needs to be toned down.”

To comment on McGuire’s idea a reader must wade through a two-page registration funnel (you have to scroll down) that includes current employer (difficult to answer if you are an out-of-work journalist).

In order to find out what readers think about your failing product the media erects a registration firewall that focuses on collecting leads.

I bailed. Registration was too long, and I can easily comment just about anywhere else.

Newspapers are famous for delivering their message in one direction. An open-air disclaimer about listening to readers meets registration funnels, balky snail mail letters-to-the-editor, and lack of complete online story commenting.

The media is so unfamiliar with vigorous criticism that it hears “vitriol.” If you’re looking for conversation about important news, you won’t find it on most media web sites.

If you’re looking for a job, forget about looking for one at the recent Lucas County Job Fair.

While the local TV stations were declaring the fair a huge success, what most people found were realtors, financial planners, and colleges selling themselves at the ‘Ad Fair.’

Mary Kay, Avon? “Sorry, we’re not hiring right now, but if you’d like to leave a resume.” Why, exactly do you have a booth here?  Realtors were “looking for “individuals interested in a career in real estate.” Please, they were not looking for bodies, they were looking for leads.

If the media is looking for actual conversation – enable it.

If you have a table set up at a job fair – offer a job.


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