Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Job opp: Writer for UC Berkeley

Here's one from Kathryn Bader at UC Berkeley. She tells me that the job is suited to an established journalist or feature writer accustomed to balancing deadlines and priorities, and to addressing varied audiences (both staff and faculty). Print-journalism experience is highly desirable. It is not an entry-level position, or particularly well suited to those seeking to transition from other communications fields. You can find the online posting at

Posting Title: Principal Writer
Requisition: 007224
Department: University Relations
Location: Off Campus-Berkeley
Salary: $47,844 - $67,836
First Review Date: 09/25/2007

Job Description:

The Office of Public Affairs plans and implements communications and media strategies to enhance public knowledge and support of the University of California, Berkeley. University Communications, a unit within Public Affairs, has primary responsibility for campus communications, their editorial content, and print and online publishing and design. The staff works as a team to convey the quality, diversity, vitality, and preeminence of UC Berkeley to its many audiences.

Effective communication with the campus community is a critical component of this mission, improving the operation of the campus and disseminating the message of Berkeley's quality and value to broader audiences. The primary vehicles for campus communication are the Berkeleyan, a weekly eight-page newspaper for faculty and staff, and the campus NewsCenter,

The Berkeleyan Writer works with Public Affairs staff and with contacts all around campus to gather the most essential and compelling campus news and determine the best way to present it.


Identify, Report and Write Campus News (75%).
* Using sound news judgment and knowledge of campus priorities, gather story ideas from campus and propose them to the Berkeleyan Editor, or take on story assignments from the Editor. Work with the Editor to determine the most appropriate approach and scope for scheduled articles, encompassing a broad range of topics. Research subjects, interview sources, and write news, feature stories, briefs, and captions in a clear, lively style, working under weekly deadlines.
* Work closely with Editor to revise stories as needed. Adhere to Associated Press and Public Affairs editorial styles.
* Identify art and graphics to illustrate stories and schedule photography as needed, in consultation with the Editor and designer.
* Cultivate a broad network of campus contacts, with special attention to assigned beats, and check with them regularly to keep abreast of campus news and developments. Work closely with all Public Affairs writers to coordinate story ideas.
* Working with the Berkeleyan staff, write award announcements, publication notices, news and research briefs, and calendar items.
* Write headlines, photo captions, charts, sidebars, and other related materials.
* Work with designer as requested on layout and graphics; assist with proofreading in Quark or other applications and formats.
* Coordinate and carry out special projects, packages, or sections for the Berkeleyan as needed.
* Attend weekly editorial meetings to determine content. Participate in long-term planning for content.
* Maintain broad knowledge of current campus issues and issues in higher education.
General Assignment Writing (25%)
* Assist with writing for other Public Affairs and campus publications, as assigned.
* When the Berkeleyan is on hiatus, continue to cover campus news for publication at the online UC Berkeley NewsCenter. (Also during these periods, develop story ideas and evergreen stories for post-hiatus editions of the Berkeleyan.) Continue to work with the Berkeleyan Editor on these stories.
* Take on special Public Affairs writing assignments as assigned by the director of University Communications, with workflow coordinated by the Berkeleyan Editor.

Requirements & Qualifications:

* Substantial professional experience and demonstrated excellence as a news and/or feature writer, with solid news judgment and a clear and lively writing style.
* Experience in a fast-paced editorial setting, working under tight deadlines with competing priorities.
* Ability to develop compelling story ideas into engaging multi-source articles, interacting with people at all levels of the university.
* Ability to understand the campus's complex, multi-level organization and to exercise discretion and sound judgment in dealing with sensitive or confidential issues.
* Excellent interpersonal, interviewing, and research skills.
* Commitment to accuracy, an eye for detail, excellent grammar, knowledge of style standards for newspapers, and the ability to apply all of these in your writing.
* Proven effectiveness in working on teams.

This position has been designated as sensitive and may require a Criminal Background Check. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of a Criminal Background Check.

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