My replacement would probably come in at the level of Associate Editor, but be called upon to do day-to-day work (cover news beats, conduct interviews, write articles, proofread copy, gather information for reference material such as the World List of Nuclear Power Plants) pretty close to what I do most of the time. If you’re not familiar with Nuclear News, and you probably aren’t, go to www.ans.org and follow links under “Publications” to see some limited samples from back issues.
Exactly why this is still a monthly newsmagazine, and is still valued by the ANS members who receive it as the main benefit of their membership, is a very long story that I won’t tell here, although a serious applicant ought to hear it and I’ll provide details if asked. There is a strong possibility, however, that the means and frequency with which the news is delivered may be about to change a great deal, with Nuclear News people also perhaps to deliver news electronically with much shorter frequency and quicker throughput. My replacement would be involved with this, if it happens.
The person we’re looking for would be able to report and write clearly and understandably, and have (or be able to gain) an understanding of nuclear science and technology. This doesn’t mean that you have to be able to design the fuel placement for a reactor core, just that you understand basic concepts and, when presented with unknowns, are able to learn their relevance to the work you’re doing. I hope that there will be plenty of overlap from the new hire’s arrival to my departure, so that I can impart general knowledge of the industry and how to get more info.
NN isn’t an advocacy publication. Some of our readers might want that, but in fact the vast majority of the readers want unbiased information on issues that affect their work (ANS is a membership organization of professionals in all nuclear fields). Some might think that just covering nuclear, and accepting it for what it is, could count as pro-nuclear advocacy; I would disagree with that belief. We cover nuclear opposition groups, but we don’t demonize them.
The person taking this job would work full-time from ANS headquarters in LaGrange Park, IL, which is in the near suburbs of Chicago. I’m pretty sure that ANS will not cover relocation expenses. Salaries are not high, and the benefits that have compensated for the pay scale have eroded somewhat in the past few years. ANS is not in tip-top shape financially, although it has plenty of endowment available to keep everything afloat. NN is, quite frankly, understaffed for what it is called upon to do, although if ANS decides that it seriously wants to go to what I call “short-cycle news” delivered electronically, the society’s governance would almost certainly have to provide much more money, both initially and over time.
If you’re not interested, but know someone who might be, feel free to pass this along. Use this information only if you are serious about applying for the job: Contact Betsy Tompkins, Editor and Publisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information of the kind that I haven’t been able to fit into this post, please leave a comment.