1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Back in the Game-Advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Agitator, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. Agitator

    Agitator New Member

    I'm trying to get back into newspaers after mostly being out the past four years. Is this too long? Over the past four years I did do some free-lancing for a big daily, but not anything else in papers or anything related. Do you think papers are gonna be turned off by that? I know it's not good, but is it really bad?
    I'm also hurting cause I can't find any of my best clips. Don't know where they disappeared to. I have some clips left, but they aren't really ones I'm too keen to send out

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    surely you can find your old clips on lexis or maybe even online?

    unless you have contacts in the business who will hire you or awesome clips, it's going to be next to impossible. think of how competitive it is for the good jobs out there. why would they hire someone who has been out of the business for four years -- unless you have some special skill.

    good luck.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member


    Well, while you were away you should have tried to network, just for sh*ts and giggles. That's water under the bridge now, of course. A good lesson for others.

    So get focused. Solve the clips problem by any means you can, even if it involves a road trip back to the old shop.

    Get in touch with everyone you knew then and let them know you're trying to get back in. People from college, reporters you might have crossed paths with during your hiatus, the publisher who goes to your church. Everybody.

    Quickly decide what geographic boundaries you're going to be constrained by in your job search, if any. "None" is the best answer in terms of giving you flexibility to look for work.

    I disagree with Leo's assessment. My wife was out of the business raising kids for 15 years, snagged a clerk's job at a 25K daily and now is a features writer and columnist with eight years in the shop where she restarted her career. It can be done.

    I was out of the newspaper business for about five years, but I kept up my contacts -- none of which did me any real good when I decided to move to another part of the country. But I had some modest desk skills and that unlocked a door for me after a short while.

    But pick the right targets. If you were in Northern Virginia, say, I'd target the community weeklies first. Get a toe hold there, then sell yourself to the Potomac News, a daily. Then shoot for another notch up the ladder, maybe Fredericksburg. Don't beat your head against the door at the WashPost. That might indeed be impossible.

    If you're in a place with one paper and they're not interested ... then it's time to get your map out and start looking for a better spot.

    You'd improve your prospects a lot, also, if you had any desk skills.
  4. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    ok, i guess my statement was a little too harsh. i think the key is that it depends on what level of newspapers you're intending to get to and what level you were at before.

    with all due respect to people at small dailies or weeklies, it'll be a lot easier if you're satisfied with small town times rather than major metro. i guess i was thinking about my experiences -- before i left the business i got up to the level of major metro. i know enough now to know that i could never get back in at that level. i have no clue if a small paper would hire me after years away but i don't want that type of job.
  5. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

  6. Agitator

    Agitator New Member

    Thanks everyone for the advice. And thanks to anyone who may yet reply.

    I'm certainly willing to got a small daily. That's essentially where I've been heading. And I'm not bound by geography, more or less. I don't want to move way out in the middle of nowhere, like Kansas or Montana, but aside from that...
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Paging sportschick, paging sportschick. Sportschick, please pick up the white courtesy phone.
  8. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    a variety of skills will help a lot towards getting back in the game -- especially in a small shop.
    If you have any web skills, that would be gold, jerry, gold.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page