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Advice for a young sportswriter

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TallSportsGuy, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. TallSportsGuy

    TallSportsGuy New Member

    Hey everyone. I'm new to this board, and this is my first post. I've been out of college since December 2007, but I can't find any decent full-time gigs remotely close to my area. I am a stringer for a fairly large newspaper, which usually keeps me pretty busy (except for the summer, obviously), but I'm looking for something more. I did work for a weekly right out of college (which promised me solely sports coverage), but in the five month period I was there, they had two redesigns and all but axed the sports section, which in turn fueled me to quit. If I did apply for a full-time gig somewhere, I'd like it to be a daily and within driving distance (no more than five or so hours from home). I have plenty of layout experience, can shoot decent photos and I won a couple writing awards in college.

    The thing is, I have pretty strong roots in this area (mainly family and friends). I'm still young (25, will be 26 in a few weeks) and single. I guess my question would be this: Is it worth it these days to move far away for a possible job in an industry that's dying?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Only you can answer that. You know the state of the industry.
    Your versatility will serve you well. To get anywhere, though, you can't have that tether. You have to be willing to move wherever because jobs aren't falling off trees.
    I admire young people who still love the game and want to stay with it.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Seriously, if its more important for you to stay close to home, I would look for a job in something else -- communications, PR, whatever and string on the side.
  4. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    In before someone told him to give u..... damn.
  5. TallSportsGuy

    TallSportsGuy New Member

    Thanks for the advice. I live pretty close to Chicago, so maybe there are some PR opportunities there.
  6. String. Volunteer at the Trib, the Sun-Times, the Daily Herald or the Times of Northwest Indiana, depending on where you live. If you can swing it financially, that's a much better career-starter than working in Nowheresville for $15K a year.
  7. TallSportsGuy

    TallSportsGuy New Member

    Haha, I am a stringer for The Times of Northwest Indiana. It just sucks not having a full-time job.
  8. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    But you can also get pigeonholed as a stringer.

    Newspapers will look at you as just a stringer. They may want to see you working as a fulltimer, running a section or a beat, instead of just being given an assignment to complete.

    Of course, you can move up from the stringer ranks, it just may be a little harder to do.
  9. I disagree. I think it would be way, way harder to move up as a full-timer in the middle of nowhere than as a stringer in the Chicago area, as long as he makes his intentions known from the outset.
  10. Also, make sure that you keep your comments about the shop you're stringing for very limited on this board, or eliminate the reference all together. Board vets know what I'm talking about.
  11. TallSportsGuy

    TallSportsGuy New Member

    I actually have done beats before. I was on the prep soccer beat (both genders) this season, and I covered swimming and track last season (along with features in all those sports). I really want to be a sports editor somewhere, though. That's something I haven't done since college.
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Become a young janitor on the side.
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