Illustration for article titled New journalist job requirement: Develop, maintain, and upgrade content harvesting robots

Last month, Tribune Publishing, the company that publishes The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun, announced that it was renaming itself "tronc." The company said it planned to use "artificial intelligence and machine learning" to deliver better content to the 60 million people who visit its websites to read the news.

And now tronc is hiring. Journalism school students and wannabe journalists, heads up. In a job ad for a "content specialist," who will "develop and support our news content," tronc sets out the job skills for journalists of the future.


The number one job responsibility: "Develop, maintain and upgrade content harvesting robots."

"Successful candidates are motivated, self-directed, and passionate about shaping the future of news distribution by working at the intersection of hard-hitting journalism and big data," explains the ad. "Day to day responsibilities include designing and deploying specialized content harvesting robots, creating and enhancing tools to facilitate data collection, and expanding and refining our industry-leading news ontology."

A computer science degree would be nice to have, but the company is also open to people who have studied English or journalism. As Politico explains, this person won't be working for one of tronc's newspapers but a news curation service.

The robots may be coming for our jobs, but at least employers still need a person to manage them… For now.

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 9.24.08 AM
The tronc job description: Managing robots.

*Updated with link to Politico.

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