The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Matthew Doig’s ideal journalism candidate has cursed out editors, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and has “threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.”
Doig posted a job ad for an investigative reporter that straight up tells it how it is.
He said that every year the paper likes to put together an overly ambitious project because “we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: ‘I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.’”
The ad goes on to say that those projects can be “hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand — entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.”
Doig’s ad post argues that Florida is the best state in the country because of its corruption, violence and “scumbaggery.”
“The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal clusterfucks. Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.”
Doig told Poynter’s Jim Romenesko that it was his first job post. He said he had written a “non-tradtional” cover letter while job searching 10 years ago. He figured “anybody who didn’t like it would also not like me (and vice-versa). The guy who hired me at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Chris Davis, told me he never even read the clips I sent. He just loved the cover letter.”
The ad concludes by saying, “If you already have your dream job, please pass this along to someone whose skills you covet. Thanks.”