For anyone who has ever lived within the Delaware Valley, The Philadelphia Inquirer will need no introduction.
The third-oldest continuously operating daily newspaper in the country, with 23 Pulitzer Prizes to its name, dates all the way to 1829. Since then, The Inquirer has upheld its unrelenting mission to report the news, despite the tumultuous nature of an industry filled with competition, economic headwinds and digital disrupters.
The identity of a 190-year-old newspaper may be tied to old images of thick stacks of paper bound with string, the inky pages leaving a dark stain on your fingertips as you turned them one by one. But today’s Inquirer, much like the times, has changed.
Well, it is changing. And that’s why you’ll want to pay close attention.
The Inquirer is going through a digital transformation ripe with opportunities for technologists interested in bringing a legacy industry into the future. It’s the chance to invent, imagine and build completely new digital products, platforms and visual methods of storytelling.
Here, there’s no “They way it’s always been done.” There’s only “What do you want to do next?”
As this iconic organization sets its compass toward the digital future, it is looking to hire engineers, designers, product managers, UX researchers and Scrum masters that can take it there.
Working at The Inquirer also opens up an incredible opportunity to work beside and learn from the highly accomplished team that is responsible for keeping its legacy, and local journalism, alive.
That passion is shared across the entire organization, uniting all of the many people it takes to bring the news to the page, screen and beyond.
What’s cool about working here is that everyone has the same goal: to produce the best journalism for the most people possible. It’s an important mission.Garland Potts News Developer on the Innovation Team
This industry is becoming, by necessity, digital everything. We have to figure out what products to buy off-the-shelf, what to build ourselves and how to blend it all. It’s very exciting. Everyone is trying to solve the same problem, but no one has cracked the code yet. We’re all in this process, trying to hit a moving target. And it’ll keep moving.Andrew Ettenger Software Engineering Manager
I love working here. I get to work with every department. The entire culture is passionate and there are a lot of opportunities to get involved. You have the ability to make a difference in a lot of ways.Kathryn Sheplavy Product Manager
It’s fast paced. There’s so much to do, and such a hunger for knowledge and data here. You can really pave your own way because there’s so much uncharted territory across the organization. It’s up to you.Natnael Kitaw Data Analyst
What kinds of opportunities exist for technologists at The Philadelphia Inquirer?
It’s a really exciting time to work here. We’re in a unique position right now where we can focus on what we want to do, what we want to build.
There’s a lot of opportunity right now because the industry is changing so fast. There’s a lot to explore and figure out. It’s challenging because it’s completely new territory.
Currently, we’re looking to make 10-15 new hires in Engineering, Design, Product Management, UX Research and Scrum roles.
How can interested job candidates get a better feel for the kind of technical work they might do there?
Visit the website. Look at what we’re producing online. We’ve been doing a lot of creative work on the site.
There’s an opportunity to get your hands on so many different types of projects: the website, the app, the digital storytelling of investigative pieces, etc.
What exciting things are happening at the organization these days?
One thing we’ve done recently is to create “The UpSide.” It’s a section of the Sunday Inquirer and Inquirer.com that only features positive stories happening across Philadelphia. It’s a nice way to add light into readers’ lives when the news can feel very heavy.
There has also been a big push internally for more inclusivity in our reporting. We’re making huge strides to dive into, uncover and report on stories that represent all Philadelphians in all communities. We’re serving an increasingly diverse city and region, and we’re passionate about covering all of it and about making sure our workforce reflects our region.
How does The Inquirer tackle career growth and development?
Though there is no formal structure, we encourage internal growth in many ways.
We love to build from within, from filling roles internally to enabling employees to follow their passions and build new skill sets through mentorship, access to Lynda.com courses, side projects and weekly digital trainings.
We’ve also just launched our Employee Resource Groups. There is a Women’s, Multicultural, and Volunteer and Veterans’ ERG. It can take shape in many ways. We might bring in speakers, have lunch-and-learns, or host events internally or out in the community. It’s another way for employees to engage, break down any workplace silos, get mentorship and professional development, as well as to grow in ways you don’t get to on a day-to-day basis at the office.
Tell us about the internal culture at The Inquirer.
We’re mission-driven and that bleeds through every single department. Our goal is always to be the go-to resource for news and information in the greater Philadelphia area. Everyone is very collaborative in that effort. We are all working towards the same goals; it’s very cohesive.
We have been doing a lot more lately to add some fun and engagement to the office culture. We started First Fridays to encourage people to mingle and get to know one another better, as well as established more social activities like ping pong and sports groups.
What is it like to work in a news organization?
It’s a lot of things. It’s hectic and takes a lot of hard work. But it’s also incredibly inspiring and rewarding. You get to see the impact of your work and the changes that the news you helped deliver has on the community.
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