Journalists tired of the long, stressful hours of beating deadlines at breakneck speed can now take a shot at being employed by the world's most valuable corporation.
Apple is hiring a new team of journalists who will be responsible for choosing news stories from different publishers that will be delivered to readers via the Apple News app, which replaces Newsstand, in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
A new job listing says Apple is looking for editors with at least five years of experience in the newsroom to "identify and deliver the best in breaking national, global and local news." Successful applicants will also be tasked to "drive relationships with some of the world's leading newsrooms," including those of The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Economist and CNN, while still being able to identify "great content from a range of high-quality publishers, from the largest to the smallest."
Unlike Google News, which relies on Google's own changing algorithms to identify which stories are delivered to readers, Apple News will rely largely on human editors, who must be "able to recognize original, compelling stories unlikely to be identified by algorithms."
Apple is not the first technology firm to dive into the world of news and media. The job listing comes just a week after Facebook officially unveiled Instant Articles, a new initiative to deliver news stories from partner publishers straight to a user's News Feed.
But technology corporations reaching their long arms into the media raises several questions. For Apple, the decision to add human editors to pick the stories that algorithms won't recognize makes sense. However, as one 9to5Mac reader puts it, "If the NY Times posts a long multi-part hit piece on Apple, will it get through?"
No media outlet or news aggregator is ever free from bias, but for Apple News to become a fairly objective source of information, Apple has to prove that there is a separation between its business and the newsroom. Gabe Rivera, founder of news aggregator and Apple News rival Techmeme, says "as the world's most valuable corporation, they can't and shouldn't be trusted to present well-rounded coverage on important topics," though he laments that "most readers won't care about that."
Another rival, Flipboard, thinks its approach to news aggregation, which allows its millions of readers to curate stories from different sources, is better than hiring a small team of journalists.
"The idea is that someone who is an enthusiast on something niche - like aerospace, for example - can curate a Flipboard Magazine and then what they are sharing gets indexed by us to add to the amazing content you can find on Flipboard," says Marci McCue, Flipboard's head of marketing. "It's a truly social magazine platform - not just something we curate for you."
Photo: Jerome Starkey | Flickr