While we still don’t have a launch date, The New York Times has begun recruiting for the journalists and commentators to increase its Australian presence.
Mere weeks after executives were in Sydney and Melbourne to talk to readers and local media about how a local New York Times operation could work, the company has started hitting up commentators to write for it.
“We’re aiming to publish more opinionated pieces telling Australian stories that resonate with a global audience,” read one pitch to an Australian commentator. “It’s not an easy job: we’d like to increase our Australian readership — so the pieces have to be interesting for your compatriots — but they have to explain enough to appeal to the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, a job ad shared internally, which had yet to be publicly released, outlines what the august newspaper company is looking for in an Australian correspondent. Like with the opinion gig, it seems the NYT is looking for someone who can write content that will work for both its American and Australian audiences — it singles out immigration, politics, climate change and the environment and China’s rise as key topics it hopes to focus on.
“The New York Times is seeking an experienced, entrepreneurial journalist with excellent writing skills to open a new bureau in Australia and to anchor our presence in the country,” the email reads. “This is a terrific opportunity to be a pioneer for The Times, leading us into a market that is an important part of our international expansion strategy.” The correspondent would introduce current Times readers to “a continent with an untapped reservoir of fascinating stories”.
The ideal candidate, it continues, will be a “player-coach”, heading “a small team of journalists” as well as working with other media outlets on “investigative projects”. The correspondent will also “team up” with other Times correspondents “who we hope will be visiting Australia more frequently”.
Applicants are told to put together a “memo” outlining their ideas for the Australian operation, including what kind of team should be built and how it can distinguish itself from competitors. It’s a non-guild position, which means the winning candidate won’t be part of or benefit from membership in The New York Times‘ powerful staff union. — Myriam Robin