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MSNBC.com Job Ad: Conservative News Experts Need Not Apply?

MSNBC’s new info blog listed a couple of job postings today…

Msnbc.com is looking to fill two new positions! If you’ve got editorial experience and an interest in television and politics, check out these two great job opps.

Job recs get posted all the time, and I don’t really look at them much, but for some reason, and I have no idea why, this time I decided to. One was more of a support position for Up with Chris Hayes, and another that seemed more like a general editorial position. This is what I saw for the latter. I’ve highlighted what I consider to be the most relevant parts…

Sr. Writer/Editor, MSNBC Cable

Editorial | New York City, NY, United States

MSNBC TV on msnbc.com, online home of The Rachel Maddow Show, The Ed Show, Morning Joe, The Last Word, Up W/Chris Hayes, and other shows, is looking for a full-time blogger/writer/producer to enhance our Decision 2012 online coverage. Applicants must have a passion for and background in politics, be avid viewers of MSNBC cable shows, and have the ability to quickly curate, write, produce and promote compelling and accurate editorial content.

Topics and coverage will begin with the broadcasts (newsmaker or analyst interviews, and reported stories), but will not be limited to what is on air. Applicants should be voracious social media and news/opinion consumers, be good headline writers, have the ability to multi-task, and work independently under a tight deadline.

Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years’ experience at a print or online publication, have a basic understanding of HTML and extensive experience with content management systems or blog publishing platforms. Must have thorough knowledge of political and progressive news. Previous TV/video background a plus.

Writer/producer must be willing to work during msnbc’s primetime hours, and be excited about covering debates, primaries and the 2012 elections.

Please send links to previous work and any relevant social media streams.

Both the Up rec and the one I highlighted wanted candidates to have strong knowledge of progressive news. While I can see the applicability of that for Up, I’m having a harder time understanding the propriety of it in this other rec. This is allegedly to be a position that is, at least partly, in support of Decision 2012, which as far as I know is an NBC News project that’s not supposed to skew along ideological lines. The very idea that MSNBC is looking for political editors whose knowledge of progressive news matters, but knowledge of conservative news apparently does not matter, seems to run entirely counter to what NBC News professes to be about.

On the other hand, the rec also mentions that the position requires the applicant to work during MSNBC’s primetime hours, and primetime is progressive time on MSNBC, so this position may be nothing more than someone who writes about what happens during MSNBC primetime and election coverage which, as we all know, and much to many people’s chagrin, is populated not by straight news journalists, but by progressive ideological talking heads (or socialist heads in the case of Lawrence O’Donnell).

The danger in all this is it has the potential of creating, in MSNBC, a system where knowledge of subject matter is defined not by whether you know the story, but whether you know one side’s interpretation of the story. It makes me queasy about the status of that vaunted NBC News firewall between news and opinion.

It’s tough to unwind all this…it’s just so nebulous. You’ve got the MSNBC.com news site, and the MSNBC TV pages, and Campaign 2012 stuff all together. But it got me to wondering about whatever happened to that story Brian Stelter scooped on concerning MSNBC.com getting rebranded. That was over a year ago, and there hasn’t been a peep regarding it since.

Note – this post first appeared on Inside Cable News and appears here with consent.

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