Contest: Unravel the meaning of new Gazette ad


The ad in question

It’s contest time!

Here’s how it works: We will publish, verbatim, portions of a Billings Gazette employment ad and you, our readers, will attempt to figure out what the hell it means.

There will be no prizes because there is no way of determining what the “correct” answer is. We just want you to put on your thinking cap, let your imagination run wild and try to explain to the rest of us what the Gazette could possibly be looking for.

The ad, which I could not find online, is on Page D1 of the print edition of the Gazette, in the upper-left corner. I mention this in case anyone thinks I’m making this up. The ad in question is contained in a long, narrow, boxed ad that includes a listing for a “digital sports editor.”

That job, and the job description, are pretty straightforward and understandable. But under that ad is another for a “Montana topics producer.” The first paragraph says the Gazette is looking for “a savvy and creative digital/online content developer to play a key role in statewide and national coverage.”

OK, things are starting to make sense, sort of. Then we read this:

“Our new hire will work closely with The Billings Gazette’s digital director and the Lee Enterprises Inc. content team to produce compelling stories, photos, videos, interactives and collections about Montana and National culture that reflects the content and style of social-focused publishers. He/she will also work with The Billings Gazette and Lee Enterprises Inc. growing digital staff to ensure a dynamic, prolific, clean and consistent web and social media presence.”

It may be that the perfect candidate travels in the same circles as the person who wrote this ad and will know exactly what it means. And perhaps they don’t want the rest of us to know what it means.

The key, of course, is “the content and style of social-focused publishers.” What, Facebook, Buzzfeed, Instagram? I don’t think they mean the New York Times. They seem to be looking for somebody who is an expert in click-bait. But again, one really can’t know from reading this ad.

And why would a “Montana topics producer” be creating content on “national culture”? So few words, so many mysteries. Please, dear readers, help me understand.

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