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Any way to figure out where your paper ranks?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by schiezainc, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, just wondering something.

    Is there a way to figure out where your paper ranks on the ol' circulation meter? I'm at a chain of small weeklies and am looking to move up in a year or so but want to make sure I'm moving up vs. moving unilaterally across the board.

    I mean, what’s the natural progression for a sports writer? I was told you shouldn’t stay at a place more than 2-3 years to avoid being “stuck” there and I always figured you start in college, go to a small weekly, go to a slightly larger weekly and then move your way up to a daily.

    Any input?
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I couldn't answer the circulation question, but I can answer you on the "natural progression" one. Namely, there isn't one. Some people stay longer or shorter at weeklies, some people start off at a daily, etc.

    Our newspaper chain's had people who've only been at our paper for a few months before they move on. Of course, the fact they get paid shit wages has a lot to do with it, but I digress.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    It might not be the best, but this site works: http://abcas3.accessabc.com/ecirc/newsform.asp.

    I've worked at four newspapers and average a move every seven months, which is probably below the average for time. I've never worked at a weekly -- not since college, at least; I was lucky enough to get a gig at my hometown paper, which is a mid-sized daily.

    Don't worry about circulation size and the norm. Just do what's best for you. Everyone is different.
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Holy cow. You've moved once every seven months? I take it that hasn't hurt you in getting jobs, since you've been getting jobs, but I always thought you didn't want to move too much because it looks bad on the resume.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's the average. My first stop was only a few weeks and my next was almost two years, so it skews the average. It probably doesn't look good on the resume, but it's never been a deterrent for me getting a job.

    If you asked me four years ago if I'd be at four different jobs before I turned 25, I'd have laughed at you. But here I am. And I wouldn't change a thing.
  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Yeah, I can see how a few weeks on one job would skew the average.

    To the initial post, I don't think 2-3 years is the point where you become stuck. I've always thought you could stay at a shop about 5 years before needing to change beats to keep things fresh, but like the others have said it is entirely up to you.
    Also, you don't necessarily have to move up from weeklies to other weeklies to dailies or whatever. If you want a daily job, apply for one.
  7. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    That's of course assuming there'll be an opening at a daily to begin with. The market sucks right now, I'm hoping it gets better but it hasn't been very encouraging lately.
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Yeah, I should have included that part. I was just trying to point out that you don't have to work your way up necessarily, more just go for the jobs you want.

    As far as the market is concerned, I agree. I've been keeping an eye on the jobs board and thinking of moving from here this summer, but that isn't looking likely at all. Might have to wait until 2009.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I'm at my fourth paper, and I turned 26 in August. Started at a weekly chain as SE; did that for two years. Moved on to a 16K daily; did that for six months. Moved to a 40K daily; did that for a year. Now I'm at a much larger paper.
  10. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Don't know if I'm an old-timer or not (less a month away from turning 39), but I'm still at the same paper I started at in Sept. 1989. If you like the region/area you live in and you like the paper, then why change? Being happy at work and outside of work is more important than what size paper you're at (for the record when I started the daily paper was in the mid-high 60s, grew to the 90s, and then started a slow slide down to the mid/high 40s its at now)
  11. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Agreed. I used to have an ideal career path in mind, but I know that specific path probably won't happen. You shouldn't limit yourself to others' standards. If you see an opportunity, then jump on it. There is nothing wrong with staying at a place for a while, in fact every paper needs people to stay. If everyone moved after 2-3 years, no place would have institutional knowledge. Some people like staying in a region for various reasons and they become institutions. Other people move on, always trying to climb the corporate ladder or get the bigger/more prestigious beat. There is no right or wrong answer. It's up to you and how you feel at each place you are at.
  12. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Just try not to get to a point where you're 31, stuck in some old mill town with nothing going on and about to have your first kid. I know a guy like this who's starting to realize all his career aspirations are gone because now he really has to worry about providing for a family.

    You can stay at one place for an extended period of time - and you likely will. Just make sure that it's where you want to be. If it's not, keep moving along.
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