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AP veterans chime in please

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ogre, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. ogre

    ogre Member

    My question is for those specifically who have worked on staff with the AP. How likely is it to go from stringing with the AP to getting on staff?

    I have done a few things, which have been well received, and am curious whether the company tends to give the freelancers an opening eventually.

    I also welcome the words of people with experience at other big shops.
  2. slipshod

    slipshod Member

    Well, where to start...We post our openings now, which helps. Let the bureau chief where you have done your stringing know of your interest. Have the local AP sports guy put in a good word for you. You'll have to take the AP test. I don't know if your prepared to do news as well, because many of our smaller cities don't have full-time sports people. Also, some larger cities have a third (or second) staffer who fills in on sports as well as on news. If your work is good enough, you can move up from there to a bigger sports gigs. Several of our best people have done that. Might not get the exact gig you want right away, but the path would be there.
    Good luck.
  3. slipshod

    slipshod Member

    1st Ld-Writethru
    Am sure AP critics will note my improper use of ``your,'' which should be ``you're.''
  4. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Can we get a PMer here?
  5. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    That about covers it. Very few people start in sports. Depending on the size of your bureau, be prepared to begin on a broadcast and news desks and work toward a sports writer gig if that's what you really want. Unfortunately, there's often lots of politics involved in hires, too. Good luck. I spent 10 years working for AP and, trypical complaints aside, it was terrific experience.
  6. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    Take the test; pass the test; be prepared to accept anything, anywhere; work your butt off; memorize the Stylebook; work overnights, swings, whatever; get the experience and move on.
  7. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i spent two years on staff at AP and saw a couple of stringers get hired full time. but they were more than stringers - they were also part-time clerks in the bureau. if you don't have a full-time day job then i'd suggest seeing if they need anyone in the office. it was grunt work - writing up college football and basketball box scores into 100-word separates but these people showed they were fast and efficient, they gradually got a handful of bylined features and then eventually got on staff when an opening happened.

    if your bureau doesn't have anything like a part-time clerk position you have to find some other way to make yourself known to the news editor (and/or bureau chief). just stringing and sending in those clips won't get you anywhere.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I don't know if they still have a baseball "dictation" desk in NY, but that was the springboard for a lot of people. Ron Blum, John Kekes, Ira Podell, Dennis Wasczak, Hank Kurz and many others got started that way.
  9. August West

    August West Member

    the baseball dictation desk no longer exists, per se. the positions are filled by five members of the agate staff who move over for the season, then move back to agate after the season.
  10. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Gabe Miller, too. The agate desk was smaller in those days, too -- Jim O'Connell, Tom Canavan, Dennis D'Agostino and maybe one or two other summer clerks.
  11. LukieDookie

    LukieDookie New Member

    It can happen (it did for me) but you really have to have some chops news-wise because you will be asked to do broadcast, nights, etc....It's not as daunting as it sounds.

    Make sure you kick ass stringing for AP, and pass that damn test!
  12. ogre

    ogre Member

    Thanks to all for the input. Will be following said instructions and trying to get my hoof into the door. ;D
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