When Bloomberg quietly noted last week that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. human resources department was inviting News of the World's nearly 300 laid-off employees to apply for other positions within the company, the report was rather matter-of-fact. Citing three unnamed sources, Bloomberg explained that the openings "included a materials manager for Fox News's theatrical departments in Siberia" and other positions around the world with Dow Jones, HarperCollins, Fox, and News International. The article ended with a disclaimer: "Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information."
Ah, the American press! The news has traveled across the pond today, and Murdoch's U.K. competitors are considerably more worked up about News Corp.'s offerings than their U.S. counterpart. The Guardian, which has been at the forefront of uncovering the phone-hacking scandal that shuttered News of the World, turns to the tabloid's disgruntled staff. The paper points out that the jobs News Corp. is offering are "largely at Dow Jones or are non-editorial jobs in IT, back office and commercial departments," with only six jobs--at The Sun and Fabulous magazine--that are "directly comparable" to what News of the World's 150 journalists were doing at the tabloid. "The idea that you would go from the News of the World to becoming an oil reporter for Dow Jones, a high end financial wire service, is laughable," one former employee explains. Another calls former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks's pledge to redeploy staff an "empty promise."
The Daily Mail goes even further in an article entitled "Sent to Siberia!" The tabloid contrasts photos of News of the World's East London digs with pictures of Siberia's forbidding landscape (caption: "Wish you were working here? A Siberian tundra awaits those who want to apply for the position") and the Helsinki Cathedral in "far-flung Finland." We even get a brief guide to Siberia. (Excerpt: "Siberia has a population density of about four people per square kilometer"). The Independent is equally critical. "Staff at the News of the World, who may have thought they had hit rock bottom when their company told them their newspaper was 'toxic' and closed it, have been shocked again by the offer of work... in Siberia ... the austere eastern Russian region, commonly associated with the Soviet gulags," the paper writes.
Beyond the "materials manager" in Siberia, the reports today are homing in on several other jobs, including a Dow Jones application development consultant in Bulgaria and a symbology data analyst in Barcelona. The Guardian has posted an image that appears to show part of the job list provided to former News of the World employees:
And in case you're interested in that symbology analyst position in Barcelona, here's the rather abstruse job description from News Corp.'s site:
Will work as part of the Company Symbology team responsible for coordinating Dow Jones's company code creation and company mapping activities. Company Symbology is where our company data is stored and fed through to [Dow Jones Companies and Executives]. DJCE brings the most respected financial and business publishers together into one comprehensive collection of public and private company, industry and executive news and information. Each of these datasets can be manipulated to provide an enhanced and detailed portrait of around 22 million companies and 44 million executives. Information profiles are sourced from a number of providers. These are divided into core and secondary providers, thereby creating a hierarchy which all team members adhere to when implementing changes within Symbology. The role fundamentally involves mapping which involves the comparison of data from a third party with the company data we currently hold, and updating accordingly using an internal interface. Team members will concentrate on addressing existing mapping issues that hamper the smooth flow of company data into the DJCE platform. The successful candidate will be instructed in several interfaces to manipulate and correct data. Initially, team members will be mainly involved with the cleansing of Symbology data. Subsequently, team members will also be involved with proactively identifying data problems, correcting raw data, contacting Information Providers and compiling DJCE quality metrics.