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Applying to some news jobs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by danhawks, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. danhawks

    danhawks Member

    Okay folks, I wondered when this would come, but I think the time has arrived to dip my toe in the news jobs market...I've got a high-priced master's degree and lots of good sports experience in the last 10 years, but I'm finding it near-impossible to get a bite applying for full time sportswriting jobs...I'm not abandoning sports forever, but in a quest to "get in" and keep writing (instead of doing web editing/production as I am now) I've isolated a couple of news jobs to apply to.

    However, my news coverage experience amounts to not much more than my non sports writing that I did in grad school (about three stories).

    So, I'd love to get some advice about how to pitch myself as a "journalist" more than a sports writer to some of these papers. Any tips?
     
  2. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    here's a tip: show them your serious sports writing clips. not gamers, obviously. features, enterprise and breaking [sports] news stuff.
     
  3. I'd emphasize what experience you do have, instead of what you don't have, and I'd stress how your background could help you do a news reporting job well.

    I suspect you're chasing entry-level-type positions (or at least I hope you are), and smaller places, I've found, tend to hire the person based on their personality, ability and desire. So you're not as bad off as you think. However . . .

    If you're applying for a news job because you think it would be easier to get than a sports job, you're not doing it for the right reasons.
     
  4. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    I\'m a news-sider, and several of the best \"capital W\" writers I\'ve worked with on metro desks have come, at one point or another, from sports. I think that may be because, to some degree, sports writers have to share the same set of facts, so they differentiate themselves through insight and style. And because sportswriters are more free to call it like they see it. Too many metro desks are hamstrung by slavish objectivity.
    All that is a long way of saying: you may be better off than you think. Especially if you look for papers that value \"capital W\" writing, insight, analysis and narrative, moreso than straight-ahead, just-the-facts-ma\'am reporting.
    Obviously, show them some enterprise and some stories you broke; flash some reporting chops. But show them you know how to write, too. (if you can, indeed, write, that is).
    Good luck.
     
  5. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Find a Web site at least a year old that is hiring, and go from there.
     
  6. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Dan,

    1) Emphasize how quickly you can turn around a story. We write 15-inch game stories in 45 minutes on deadline. That's even more important as papers emphasize the web, and that's an element some veteran news reporters struggle with.

    2) If you've been working 10 years, you must have done some news stories. Coach gets fired? School board divided over new coach? Parent files lawsuit to restore kid's eligibility? Team threatens to leave town? Athlete busted for DUI?

    Mix a few of those stories with your best enterprise pieces and you should be fine.
     
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