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Are sport-specific writers associations worth it?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hockeybeat, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I'm pretty sure we've had this thread or variations of it before. So I apologize in advance for wasting bandwith.

    Are groups like BBWAA worth joining? What are the benefits of becoming a member?
  2. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Some convey privileges that come in handy when covering a sport.

    Some eventually convey long-term privileges (Hall of Fame voting or entry into games even after you're done covering that beat).

    Some get you a Marriott VIP card, which can come in handy too. To your bean counters or just to you.

    Don't downplay the camaraderie value, either, of misery that loves company. Hard to bitch to a league or conference about some media gripe if you aren't bitching first -- and by membership, have a right to bitch first -- to your sport-specific writer association.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I've joined a couple so I could win a couple awards (it's not hard) and put it on your resume.

    Now that all of us will be looking for jobs in other industries, it's a colossal waste of money and time.
  4. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    The primary benefit of joining the BBWAA is the universal credential -- if you're a traveling writer, you don't have to call and arrange a press pass in every city. If you don't travel, it's a waste of money, frankly.

    You do get votes for the MVP, Cy Young, etc., but most papers won't let you vote any more.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    But not just anyone can join the BBWAA. You have to cover baseball on a regular basis before they let you in.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The Marriott VIP card is worth the price of membership in the FWAA.
  7. bob

    bob Member

    My BBWAA membership gets me in the clubhouse without having to stand in line to sign in. And while I don't ordinarily travel, it comes in handy in the playoffs, when I can get a universal pass for all rounds. And I have to say I get this elite feeling every time I wear that pass. Besides, I don't pay for the yearly dues.
    Other memberships have their value. The pro basketball writers get a Marriott card and have a voice in some issues that involve coverage of games.
    I also belong to the NASJA (North American Ski Journalists Assoc--or something like that). It gets me free skiing. I used to write skiing, so it was a legit perk, but I'll have to give that up shortly because I no longer do and they require proof that you regularly write about snow sports.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    What does the Marriott card get you?
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Not even. I once put in the code for the discounted rate and was given a rate higher than the deals that came with my Rewards account.
  10. casty33

    casty33 Active Member

    First, HB, you do have to be covering a team regularly for a daily and your editor should have you on the list of those getting cards. What it gives you is access to all ML ballparks and the opportunity to vote for MLB awards if selected as a voter by your chapter chairman. Hall of Fame vote is not part of that package until you cover for 10 consecutive years.

    Is it worth it? Sure, especially when your paper pays the dues.
  11. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I joined PFWA because I'm well aware of the tendency of the local squad to jerk around the media. If they have no problem doing that to the major metros, then I'm damn sure they'd have no problem doing it to a small fry like us.

    So, at the very least, I feel like I have some recognized advocate on my side if shit ever does hit the fan.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    That happens sometimes, but it's a glitch.

    I just booked a room in Manhattan (New York, not Kansas) for $159 a night. Good luck swinging that without some sort of discount program.

    (AAA works, as well, but it's more expensive than the FWAA).
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