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Aspiring journalist seeks answers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sportfan11, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. giantjay25

    giantjay25 Member

    I agree with most of what has been said: you have to love sports, but you have to love to write even more.

    Don't expect to work 9-5, and don't be discouraged when all your best buddies from college make twice what you do, and have the weekends off.

    One thing that keeps me going is the movie "Office Space." While those same college pals might be living out that movie from the same cubicle doing the same thing every single day until they retire (even though they can order take-out whenever they want and you can't), there's no excitement, or variety.

    If you take on this type of career, your work environment and associates (IE the players and coaches you interview) change on a daily basis. There's a little life to this.

    And as for the whole college/school paper/experience comments -- my grades sucked. I almost got kicked out of school as a freshman. I overloaded for three years straight after that, made it out on time but with an ugly GPA, and harassed the daily paper in my hometown for months until it hired me as a part-timer.

    I worked my ass off there for two years (as in, I carried one of those 9-5 jobs anchored from a cubicle) while spending three or four nights a week on the sports desk asking questions and learning the biz. Finally, after sending my resume to every paper from my hometown to Kingdom Come, I got my first big break.

    Now, I'm onto my second full-time gig, at a bigger, better paper.

    Funny thing about it is, I never wrote a word for my school paper in college, and neither paper that has hired me has ever heard of the tiny D-III college I went to.

    Yeah, it's great to say you get paid to watch sports for a living, but it won't be a lot. If you decide to pursue this line of work, it will only be WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT.

    Happy New Year fellow posters.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    What do you mean non-alcoholic?
  3. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    good advice - especially for covering baseball.

    try to get some reporting experience outside of sports. police beat. city hall, school board. learn the mechanics of news reporting. then apply them to sports - if you can develop an aptitude for investigative sports journalism it will vault you over the hordes and multiltudes of gasbag opinion writers. use mark fainaru-wada and lance williams as role models.

    oh, learn the courts. be able to research court records.
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    be sure to have phone numbers for lawyers and some money for bail if you do that.
  5. I didn't see this mentioned, so:

    Learn HTML. Try at least one online journalism course.
  6. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    One of the things that I'm learning is that it's better to pick a college with championship-quality sports teams and not so much a great journalism program. Everything I learned in college was not in class; it was by covering the big D-I sports teams for that college's student paper.

    You'll work with professionals who cover sports for a living. Follow their advice. They'll help you out. The professor with experience as a police reporter for a small town and then teaching won't.
  7. All this outstanding advice ... very few smart-ass remarks ... no bickering ... all in a thread from a newbie seeking guidance ...
    Is SportsJournalists.com all grows up?

    I hope not.

    Original poster: I've nothing further to add to what has been a thread full of terrific advice. Read it all and take it all to heart, and good luck.
  8. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    I wish I would have. My senior year, they introduced a Web-based class for 15-20 students at the KU J-school, and that course got filled well before I ever got the chance to enroll in it.

    Definitely take an online journalism course, if given the chance. It would be well worth it.
  9. Hambone

    Hambone Member

    Write for your local message board and study Stu Scott's vocabulary.
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