Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rubina At The Journal

New York parlance or universal acronyms? Only recently did I realize that "The Journal" unequivocably means The Wall Street Journal, and "The Times" refers to The New York Times. Both of these are great publications, and getting to work here is pretty good for aspiring journalists like Rubina.

So we were happy when Rubina got an opportunity to join The Times as a freelance graphics editor last year, and then subsequently at The Journal. In case you're wondering what she does as a graphics editor, it is gathering the information for visuals that are not just photos, and then creating them. This includes charts, tables. diagrams, schematic summaries and maps that usually accompany news stories or articles.

Newspapers are facing a tough environment trying to hold on to readership and ad revenues in the face of competition from the internet. They are pressured on headcount and typically take on only freelancers or people on temporary contract. Rubina is passionate about her work so her working this way without any job security or benefits was fine. She creates about 2 - 3 graphics daily and we used to cut and save all these till the novelty of this declined somewhat. We knew she enjoys her work and is productive and appreciated by her group and supervisors. It's also great experience so that was good.

Then I got her call a few days back. The editor of the front page of The Journal said he wanted to talk to her. Don't worry, he said, it's good news. Then over lunch he offered her a regular, full time position. She's very happy and so are we (Anita, Sheena and I - her family) especially since she loves living in Manhattan. I saw she hasn't yet updated her personal website in respect of her employment status at The Journal since she's still going through the formal process, and will probably do so subsequently.

Currently she's working on the "A" (main) section of the paper. Her group traditionally do not put their name on their graphics, but typically one third of the ten or so of them are hers.

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