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An attitude toward stringers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by zebracoy, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    For the first time in all my years writing, I began to string for non-local papers this past year in an attempt to boost my family's income.

    I haven't done anything magazine-wise - all was newspaper work. In the process of trying to make contacts with writers from other papers, especially those who seem to appear every other year, most were outwardly accepting of the idea and took my business cards and contact information, but grumbled about it.

    The same happens when I get an assignment and call/e-mail the beat writer. They're defensive.

    And why wouldn't they be? In essence, what I've realized I'm saying to them is, "Your paper doesn't value you or your work enough to send you on this trip, so they hired me for cheaper." I think I would be pissed off too if I was told this, but perhaps because I've been doing it quite a bit, I would understand it.

    The question therein lies, How do you feel about stringers covering games on your beat, or, if you're an editor, is there a hesitation to use them given the beat writer's role?
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I don't have enough writers for anyone to complain about my using stringers.

    I guess I could see the grumbling if I worked as a beat writer covering one particular team, but I use student writers to cover many events that my full-timer and I can't get to.

    If I had anything remotely approaching the resources I needed, I think I'd use stringers only if I couldn't have a beat writer covering a game/event. More to the point, however, if your stuff's good and you're offering your services and it's at a rate I can afford to pay, I'll be in touch with you.
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