- Rob Jones
The Jobs Dilemma
How tough is it for multi-media producers to get jobs and equally for employers how tough is it to find the right person?
Is it more difficult or less difficult for young sports producers these days? As I am looking for a couple of talented multi-media producers and I speak to potential candidates I realise that I wouldn't have stood a chance all those years ago. There is just so much that they need to know. Crucially they have to have a balance between pure journalistic and editorial skills and all the techy ability they now have to have. They need to be conversant with the wide variety of audio and video software as well as having the sports knowledge. In days gone by the technical side would have been somebody else's job; now you need to have both.
Having said that, there is something beautiful about having the control of the means of production as well as the idea. I'm sure like being a self-op DJ years ago, the ability to translate a thought or a feel directly on to the air is easier if you have technical control. And in some cases the technical capabilities offer editorial opportunities. The dilemma in recruiting new people is which element do they have in abundance and which area is weaker. You can be a technical wizz and make the programme stand-out but in my view that might work short term but long term it doesn't cover up a lack of editorial judgement. So I suppose in talking to people about particular job opportunities one needs to decide if editorial judgement or technical ability comes first.
These days young multi-media producers seem to be trained wide in the technical but not deep in the editorial. I worked with a very talented young producer recently. His marketing and technical schtick was impressive, although I didn't understand everything he was talking about and I was left thinking is it him or is it me? I decided it was my lack of understanding but then our client, who was aged somewhere in the middle didn't get it either! So that made me feel a bit better for me but wondering where that left the young producer. In his case the technical had swamped the editorial to nobody's benefit.
So I think it is very tough for young multi-media producers these days, even though there are many opportunities out there that need that editorial and technical ability.