A Good Deal, Better

In addition to the many, many professions we today desperately need, are the full-time jobs we didn’t know we needed.

For instance: a person capable of naming paint colors. In the same vein: someone who can label lipstick shades or nail polish colors. Much more significantly: someone else who can invent names for ice cream flavors.

In each instance, the only apparent job application requirement is a vivid imagination.

What are these positions. What are their responsibilities? And who the devil thinks up their titles? And, is that – The Title-Thinker-Upper – another job?

As well, and we all know this is true, there’s no shortage of greatly enhanced and largely inflated job titles. At the expense – not to mention victimization and oppression – of old titles.

Seen a “secretary” recently? How about an “usher”?

And is there today any job title that is not preceded by “Senior”?

Long live the Rolling Stones and “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man.”

Recently the newspaper industry has also begun to see merit in such titles.

Thinking “Master of the Universe” a bit too grand, in an uncommon act of humility, many newspapers have instead adopted the title “Mobile Content Coach” for a key management position.

This follows the nationwide trend in daily newspaper publishing of shrinking the physical size of the paper, diminishing the total number of pages and the size of the newshole presented in each issue, and dropping original reporting in favor of wire service reports, syndicated columns and barely edited press releases.

Who says the world is going to hell?

And, as the paper shrinks, subscribers and newsstand buyers can expect to pay more.

Because “Less is more.” (One must ask: for who?)

The New York Daily News, once known as the city’s “picture newspaper,” recently fired all of its photojournalists. Without a hint of irony.

A Gannett daily introduced its new “mobile content coach” this way: “While everyone in the newsroom is digital and social-media savvy, [the mobile content coach] is a muse who pushes us outside of our comfort zone.”

Prompting one to wonder: Does the mobile content coach also push the paper’s staff outside of their Cliché Zone?

Once upon a time, we used to call such a person an editor. Or an assignment editor.

Too simple, one supposes.

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