« « Oh, hi, blog readers — it’s been a while!

What’s it like looking for a programmer-journalist job? » »

The Associated Press: Next stop on the journey

Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’ve restarted this post three times, because I’m still in shock. Maybe I’ll just keep it simple and not rambling, for once, I’ve accepted a position at the Associated Press as an Interactive Producer.

It’s in the Washington bureau. On a personal level, I get to stay in a city I love, surrounded by friends, continuing the life I’ve made for myself here. On a professional level, I get to join a newsroom with an amazing amount of talent, passion and difference-making ability, focusing on topics for which I have great passion.  Plus, AP Washington on Election Night!

The Interactive group which I’m joining is based out of New York, and I’m a big fan of these folks. I’m looking forward to collaborating closely with people whose work I’ve admired for a long time. Shazna Nessa‘s leadership skills are powerful to behold, and when I hear her talk, I hear thoughts that have been circling in my own head for so long.

Jonathan Stray and I seem to have multi-hour conversations every time we meet at conferences. Every time I look at his Twitter feed, I feel like I learned something I didn’t even know I wanted to know. I watched his NICAR talk four times before I felt I was starting to understand.

And I can say much the same of the other Interactive folks I’ve met, and I can’t wait to meet the others, and all the reporters, and so, so many people at the AP.  (Check out the Interactive team’s work at @AP_Interactive on Twitter.)

To have the respect, and opportunity to work with, people of that caliber every. single. day. is a beautiful opportunity.

This is all not to mention the Overview project that’s spinning up, which I’m deeply excited about as a data journalist.

Advisors have always told me to go where people are doing work I admire, and also where I can learn a lot. I would add to that it should be a place that respects both my programming and journalism skills, and that it’s harder than it should be to find a place that fulfills all of these requirements.

There’s so much I’m looking forward to: geeky discussions, meeting lots and lots of smart people, really getting my ideas out there. Telling compelling and informative stories in new story forms that make the most of data AND anecdotal journalism is the best part, though.

I would say it’s a dream come true, but it’s no dream — this is real!

So much to finish up here at PBS of course, and so many ideas to flesh out, skills to conquer. Will I live up to what the AP expects of me? What I expect of me? There’s only one way to find out.

I want to be certain to note that PBS has been a very valuable learning experience, and I’ve learned so much from my colleagues and supervisors, both on the News team and in the larger organization. But this move feels right.

There’s much more to say, of course, but right now, I’m just too excited! And my soon-to-be colleagues have beaten me to my announcement on Twitter, and the mentions are flowing, so I’ll be pushing this out now, and getting back to coding. Expect to hear much, much more on tips on the job search, what I’m looking forward to most, and whatever else the future holds as time goes on. *GRIN*

« « Oh, hi, blog readers — it’s been a while!

What’s it like looking for a programmer-journalist job? » »