The Huffington Post unearthed a humorous gem in the want ads the other day. Posting on JournalismJobs.com, a small town Idaho newspaper owner named Dan Hammes offered a reporter job to an individual “who reads.”
The description declares:
It goes without saying the person we hire will be able to write, spell and edit. What also needs to be said is we prefer to hire reporters who read because we strongly believe that knowledgeable, informed people make superior reporters. We can excuse you if you have not read a book or two in a while, but the person we hire will be a newspaper reader. We are convinced that in order to be a respectable reporter, you must be informed.
According to the Huffington Post, such a specific ad seems to have stemmed from Hammes’ frustration with the lack of knowledge and ability which today’s young people exhibit, particularly in basic skills such as reading and writing.
“I’m old and I’m grouchy,” Hammes laughed. “So many kids you hire these days don’t read anything.”
“Not to mention you can’t write very well if you don’t read,” Hammes told HuffPost.
Unfortunately, Hammes’ words resonate with the statistics:
- Nearly 30% of American adults didn’t read a book last year.
- Only 34% of American 8th graders are proficient in reading.
- Only 27% of American 8th and 12 graders are proficient in writing.
On the bright side, statistics like these guarantee that any parent who trains a child to be a self-educating reader is almost certainly setting that child up for life long success.