Adam Wilson of The Olympian and Rich Roesler of the (Spokane) Spokesman Review announced this week they are taking other jobs.
Adam is going to write speeches for the governor; Rich is going to handle communications for the insurance commissioner. I suspect both are getting hefty pay raises.
I can’t fault them in the least. The newspaper industry is going through some pretty bad throes and both Adam and Rich have taken pay and benefit cuts that they don’t deserve. And they have young families.
I’m not going to rattle off all the others who have left the statehouse beat in just the past year, but that list is longer than the list of those of us who are left.
The most worrisome aspect of the ongoing erosion of the state capitol press corps is that YOU are losing your future watchdogs. Both of these guys are in the early to middle years of their careers. They’re the “best and brightest.”
Their respective newspapers say they will be replaced. But there is a lot of institutional knowledge that each of their replacements will have to gain. And that will take time.
By my count, we are down to 7 reporters, not enough to cover all the bases — not in baseball, not in state government.
And just to punctuate the issue, here’s another job opening in state government: Gov. Chris Gregoire needs a press secretary. It pays $75,000 to $80,000 a year.
ORGANIZATION: Washington State Office of the Governor
POSITION: Press Secretary
SALARY RANGE: $75,000 per year
CLOSING DATE: July 12
The Office of the Governor has an immediate opening for a Press Secretary in Olympia, Washington. The press secretary is the primary spokesperson and media contact and reports to the External Relations and Communications Director.
– Serve as a spokesperson for the Governor
– Answer and track news media inquiries
– Speak on the record, field and respond to news media calls
– Create quarterly news media plan including newspaper, radio, columnist and television outreach
– Pitch stories/events to reporters for event coverage
– Schedule news media interviews for the Governor or appropriate staff, including weekly radio and columnist interviews
– Draft and finalize statements, quotes, media advisories, news releases, weekly schedule
– Draft and finalize speaking points, news media remarks, Q&A and other materials
– Schedule media interviews and draft briefings
– Finalize and coordinate any press briefing materials for the briefing book
– Travel with Governor to coordinate news media coverage
– Brief Governor on current events and hot topics prior to interviews and offer staff support to the Governor as needed
– Report to the office from events as news occurs
– Organize post-event interviews (on site and phone) and follow up with post-interview reports
– Serve as liaison to state agency communication directors/PIOs
– Provide news media clips or radio interviews to webmaster
Assist outreach staff:
– Serve as liaison to outreach staff and strategize with outreach staff on news media opportunities
– Participate in daily conference call with outreach staff to discuss event logistics
– Draft, review and edit materials produced by other communications staff members and departments
– Prepare materials for outreach staff to use with key stakeholders
– Assist in setting up Governor’s media availability, including notifying media
– Perform other duties as assigned
– Bachelor’s degree or related professional experience
– Minimum of five years of work experience in a professional setting
– Experience working for a candidate or elected official, or for a major public agency or for a company or non-profit involved in public policy issues
– Experience working with reporters or in journalism
– Must be detail-oriented and highly organized
– Very strong writing skills
– Ability to produce high-quality work quickly and under pressure
HOW TO APPLY
NOTE: Do not apply for this position in E-Recruiting. Please submit the required application materials directly to the Office of the Governor.
Submit a cover letter describing relevant qualifications, a resume and the names and phone numbers of three professional references, including a supervisor, to:
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Application deadline: July 12, 2009
People with disabilities needing assistance in the application process may contact Leslie Frank at 360-902-4121. The Office of the Governor is an equal opportunity employer.