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Curious? Caring? Communicator? We have something for you

Lead Summary

Algona Publishing Company needs a writer-photographer for this publication. You can express your interest by emailing Alan Van Ormer at I cannot state it more succinctly than that.
Writing and taking photos for the newspaper can be among the most exciting jobs you will ever have. You have the opportunity to be involved in all sorts of community, school, law enforcement, sports and other activities, and to have access to leaders to ask questions. You have the opportunity to share with your neighbors other people’s stories – be they celebratory or heart-wrenching. You can capture images at fun events, and perhaps even some which are terrifying or community-defining.
“Well, Brad,” you might say, “I don’t have a journalism degree.”
To which I just might say, “Great!”
Years ago when I was trying to build my newsrooms with the best and brightest from Iowa’s colleges and universities, I was competing with my colleagues at similar-sized newspapers and larger, attempting to become a journalistic endeavor that would make one of my college professors proud.
I hired some really good writers and some really good photographers. They did great work. But after nine months or a year, these young people were ready to move to a larger market. They had barely grown to know the community, the paper had just started to reap the benefits of their presence, and they were gone. I started over.
Later in my career, I realized that I didn’t need the college graduates, unless they were already residents of my neighborhood. Along the way, I found there are plenty of people out there who don’t have a journalism degree, or even a degree involving writing or communications, who are fully capable of what it takes to serve their community by working at the newspaper.
Can you write to communicate?
Are you curious?
Can you run a computer?
Do you care about your town?
Can you type effectively?
Are you curious?
Do you care about accuracy?
Do you care about your town?
Can you point a camera?
Are you curious?
Are you willing to learn?
Do you care about your town?
Can you put aside your personal opinions and ask questions that get to the heart of the matter and treat people fairly? In other words, can you make it about others and not yourself?
All of these attributes fall under three basic things – curiosity, caring, communicating.
“But Brad,” you might say, “will the newspaper even be around in a year?”
This one will.
And it will be here for years to come.
Newspapers have been lumped into a pile to bury in a mass grave. It’s not the case. There are very successful publications out there that are thriving because they pay attention to their local communities. That’s what we do here.
Is there night work? Is there weekend work?
You bet. But, is it work to wander a farmers’ market or town celebration for some fun photos? Is it work to sit in on a school board meeting when there is a presentation about an exciting new program in the district? Is it work to be the person who introduces a major city or county project to the community? Is it work to interview people who are doing exciting things in their lives, or who have just won a championship?
I suppose you could look at it that way. I always thought it was the fun part of the job.
Algona Publishing Company has two interns working part-time for the summer. We are looking for someone to become our new full-time writer-photographer, probably around Aug. 1. If you have some interest, contact Alan and ask your questions. Maybe your curiosity, caring, and communicating will lead to a job.

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