The TTC advertised for an art consultant last week (on 2011.08.04, actually, which was when I first saw it). One way or another, you had to pay Merx to read the full details, but the teaser read as follows (edited):
The Transit Expansion Department of the Toronto Transit Commission is seeking to select a highly qualified art consultant to work as a member of the design team to coordinate and oversee the creation of integrated artwork that will be undertaken by selected artists. For this work the consultant will work closely with… engineering and project staff, the facility design team, and the Art Design Review Committee (ADRC).
The art consultant shall have an experience background in management and coordination of public-art programs and shall assist The Commission with Contract Nº TCPE4-8, Art Consultant. The consultant is expected to have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the arts environment, including integrated and standalone art.
The consultant will be required to perform management, coordination, liaison, reporting, and public-presentation duties in order to effectively manage the work implemented by all artists involved in the project.
The posting was eventually advertised in the Toronto Sun, at which point writers at other dead-tree newspapers finally noticed. Donovan Vincent wrote a whole piece for the Star about it. Transportation ministrix Kathleen Wynne noticed the article and demanded the job offer be cancelled, as Vincent and Natalie Alcoba of the Tubby later reported.
To sum up, then:
Newspaper reporters don’t have a clue how to keep tabs on TTC’s hiring plans. Nothing exists until it’s written on paper.
The government minister has the same inability. She didn’t know about a six-figure job advertisement until she read about it in a newspaper.
Newspapers simply cannot bring themselves to name each other. The Tubby’s story only came into existence because the Star scooped them; neither paper bothered to name their shared competition (the Sun).
An ostensibly cancelled job posting is still online. But since nothing is real until it’s in print, does that matter, at least to newspaper journos and a cabinet minister?
Why didn’t Vincent and Alcoba find the job listing when it first went up a week ago? I asked and neither of them would answer, though Alcoba did take the time to argue with me about top-posting instead of answering the question.
Why didn’t Vincent ask Wynne the same thing? That’s something else he wouldn’t answer.
Some other time, let’s talk about what happened to the contract to revamp the TTC Web site. Did you know there actually was one? It never made the papers.