Jobs for online journalists have certainly grown in quality since December of 2002, after finishing a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic (a program which I hear has gone defunct, but not according to the fellowship info page) and at the height of my job search for just about anything. It occurred to me this afternoon (after waking up at nearly 1 p.m.; hey, I’m a night shifter) — more newspapers and mainstream news organizations have more and better online positions than they did when I was starting out. You could just click on the screen shot for a big picture, or tour the Wayback Machine the way I did.
Back in 2002, online positions were grouped with freelance and other — sad. Probably one of the most promising jobs offered back then was a Night Producer with the New York Times Digital — probably not a job a fresh college grad could get, even with all the best online skillz in the world. AOL, listed back then as America Online Digital City, was looking for plenty of freelance writers, but those aren’t full-time gigs. There were only a couple of online gigs in Los Angeles, my hometown, but none really suitable for a new grad starting out in journalism, trying to stay in journalism.
In December 2002, out of the 101 job listings under Online Media/Other Industries, there are probably only 33 jobs actually looking for online or multimedia journalists for a mainstream media publication. Although, if you don’t count AOL, that’s actually 23. I think I did count the CNET jobs, even though CNET is an online-only publication and is a lot more mainstream than it was back then.
Today, JournalismJobs.com has a category just for Online Media, which gives us 91 listings. There are a few niche publications listed, like Smithsonian Magazine (which would be so cool to work for), but there are a lot of more mainstream publications, like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the San Diego Union-Tribune offering jobs like User Experience Online Director and Online Content Producer. We’ve come a long way, baby.