Dr Mumbo

News Limited – the toughest cadetship process in the country?

What would the last person you “de-friended’’ on Facebook say about you in three words?

Dr Mumbo doesn’t know the answer which means that he may struggle to get a cadetship at News Limited’s Victorian division.

It is one of 32 questions being asked of applicants as they jump through some major hoops for this year’s traineeships.

The application for NewsVictoria traineeships is no less than 11 pages, and requires not only a CV but also a 30 second video (with voiceover) of a local event.

Throughout the application there are many of the questions you’d expect for an entry level journalism position. Such as:

What qualities do you think a person needs to be a successful journalist? Which of these qualities do you have?

What type of stories interest you – eg: crime, sport, celebrity, politics, local stories? Explain why.

Which person, alive or dead, would you most like to interview and why?  What would be the one question you would want to ask them?

But then there some more technical questions, presumably aimed at the 21st century journalism graduate…

What is SEO and why is it important for news websites?

What is your view of subscription news’ websites? Would you pay to receive your news? Why/Why not?

It also provides scenario questions like:

You are a reporter in The Herald Sun newsroom. A State government media advisor calls you with the promise of an exclusive story for tomorrow about a $70 million transport initiative for the western suburbs. The only condition is that you can’t get any reaction to the story – from locals, transport users or the opposition. What do you do?

(a) It’s a great story. You talk to your editor and decide to run it without the other comments.

(b) You feel uncomfortable about the lack of balance in the story and go back to the media advisor to try to talk them in to accepting your right to at least source reaction from a local transport pressure group.

(c) You decide that you need the balance and don’t honour the media advisor’s condition. Without telling the advisor you go to the transport users’ group and the opposition.

(d) You decide that you need the balance so you call the media advisor to tell them that you can’t agree to the condition. The story’s not getting a run.

Explain your answer:

Keen viewers of the ABC’s Media Watch program will recall it was a little over a week ago that Jonathan Holmes raised concerns about reporters not getting reaction on exclusives, and gave special mention to News’s tabloids who do this regularly (hint for applicants: don’t choose C or D).

Dr Mumbo was also amused by this question which if applicants can accurately answer they will have absolutely earned their traineeship…

Look in to your crystal ball. What do you think journalism will look like in five years? In ten years?

Applicants have until next Friday to apply. Dr Mumbo wishes them good luck.


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