Economist Job: my sample articles

Over the holiday, I ran into this job advertisement from The Economist:

The Economist is looking for a new Science and Technology correspondent. Knowledge of the field, an ability to write informatively, succinctly and wittily, and an insatiable curiosity are more important attributes than prior journalistic experience. Please send a CV, a brief letter introducing yourself, and an article of 600 words suitable for publication to The closing date for applications is August 23rd.

As I have an insatiable curiosity and can certainly write informatively, succinctly and wittily, I thought, why not! I crank out these science articles from time to time anyhow, might as well get them published somewhere worthy. I put real effort into this. What is the anatomy of an Economist science article? What subjects do they cover?

NOTE! I’m not leaving PowerDNS, but I do enjoy writing about science, and I thought this would be a great place to do so.

From this I learned that The Economist employs some stellar writers on space, outdoing anything I could do, but that their coverage of the internet was less good. I thought I might be able to plug that gap.

I wrote not one but two sample articles that to my mind would not have looked out of place in this august publication, one on science and one on technology.

And then nothing happened.

Despite multiple reminders, I heard nothing, not even a confirmation that I had applied to anything. With some trouble I finally tracked down a phone number where I learned that some applications were just too low quality to respond to, but they encouraged me to send one more reminder. So I did but to no avail.

Apparently my writing skills are of such low order that I do not even merit getting rejected.

Now of course I am rather butthurt over this. In my regular job, we try very hard to be decent to the people who apply for a job with us. It is an emotional investment that also costs serious time.

In some cases where we had to reject someone we successfully forwarded them on to jobs elsewhere that did work for them. This turns even a rejected applicant into a fan. The lowest of low bars would be acknowledging that you received an application, but perhaps I am oldfashioned to expect this.

But anyhow, so as not to let the effort go to waste, please find my two articles:

Honest feedback on my writing is very welcome on or @bert_hu_bert. Thanks!