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Breaking In?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mayfly, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Lack of soberness?

    In all seriousness, I'll repeat what a lot of the guys 'n gals have said: network until your anus bleeds. OK, maybe not to THAT degree, but you get the drift. Also look up job sites like journalismjobs.com, the APSE job site, and once in a while mediabistro.com has something decent, but don't bank on it. Ever go to the alumni offices of your school? See if anyone from your alma mater is well-placed (or placed at all) in the field. You'll never know what you'll find unless you look. And don't be afraid to send your resume to old profs or anyone that you have networked so they can give some tweaks here and there. Sometimes, that could mean the difference between getting called in and getting your package thrown out.

    Best of luck to you.

    PS - What area is your school in or where do you live? Market size also could be a factor.
  2. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I would prefer to say I was like Paul Molitor in Game Six in 1993, showing no ego, getting on base to keep the rally going rather than swinging for the fences.

    I'm fine with the fact you hit the dinger. I just like to see the team do well.
  3. College clips aren't bad if you're a college student. It's better than not doing anything ... it gives a potential employer something to gauge your experience.

    As for networking, I don't do it. I know a lot of people in the business because I either worked with them, competed against them or went to college with them but it makes my skin crawl to think about talking to someone just because they might offer me a job (other than a job interview, of course) ...

    I went to one of those Society of Professional Journalists meetings a decade ago while I was in college and it was disgusting and transparent. No one was talking about journalism ... everyone was either talking about themselves or drooling over whatever bigshot editor was in the room ... if you're going to "network" - whatever the fuck that means - just be yourself.

    Added: I like to let my clips speak for themselves.
  4. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member


    If you define "networking" as sucking up to people in a "disgusting and transparent" way, fine.

    But we're defining "networking" in the most practical of ways. The majority of jobs are not advertised -- not on the jobs board here, not anywhere. Networking is how you find out about those jobs. It might not even mean you're looking for a job at that moment.

    It does mean chatting up editors and other reporters about any openings (or potential openings) they're aware of ... and them chatting you up for the same reason. It does mean setting up informational interviews, so that an editor might remember you when he has an opening down the road, or refer you to another editor with an opening now.

    I got my first job because one of the guys at my college paper worked there and let me know about the opening. I got my next job -- same beat at a bigger paper -- because I got to know the guys at that paper while competing against them on the beat, and they put in a good word for me. I got my current job because I had lunch with the sports editor there several times over several years, so the guy already was familiar with my work and I jumped to the head of the line when the right opening came up. None of those three jobs was advertised anywhere, as far as I know.

    If you're willing to let your clips speak for themselves, you might get an interview. But, when an opening comes up, a good sports editor already has several candidates in mind. If you're not networking, you won't be on that list. You probably won't even hear about the opening.

    If you do hear about it, you're more likely to be on the list of people getting a form rejection letter -- not because you're not good enough, but because the position already has been filled. And, since you'll have sent in your clips as soon as you saw the listing, you'll be wondering how that happened. You didn't network.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I got a nice PM from Mayfly earlier, and I don't think I would be giving away anything to tell you that I wondered, when I first responded to this thread, if he would eventually PM to ask me if we had any jobs at my place.

    He thanked me for the advice ... but never asked the question.

    So there's this: You have to get comfortable selling yourself. Nobody's buying if you ain't selling.



    Always be closing.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I agree with write-brained that smarmy schmoozing is a turn-off. It's evident when someone is brown-nosing.

    But I like talking with people in the business. I like talking shop. I like finding out how people do things at their place. I like finding out how those ahead of me got there and what path they took. I consider it curiosity about the profession, not hard-core networking to land a job. I hope those I come across don't take it as the latter.
  7. Fuck you, that's my name.

    You know why mister? Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80k BMW. That's my name.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    In this case, networking can be as simple and informal as just talking to other media people when you get an assignment. Don't pester them, but at least make them aware of who you are. Then try to act professional. Be conscientious, don't feel a need to have (and express) an opinion on everything and just generally create a vibe that you know what you're doing. Assuming the people you encounter are on staff with a paper, maybe you can get to the point of comfortably asking if they need any stringer help. (Bad form to ask another stringer if he knows of any work. He'd probably be doing it if he he knew. He may volunteer things he doesn't want or can't handle, but that's his call).

    If they're looking for someone, an inside word about the kid from the Podunk Press means more than the letters and resumes that pile up. You get around, you get bylines, then a cold call to a paper isn't quite so cold.

    Smaller papers are always looking for people who can write coherently and get an accurate story in ON TIME. Extra points if you look presentable and aren't a pain in the ass who motor-mouths everyone within a 10-yard radius with your opinions. Nobody ever says, "Geez, that kid was here for two hours and never told me who he likes in the NCAA Tournament."
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    god damn screw, you have a lotta knowledge. again, how many folks have you hired in your career?

    i've always let my clips speak for themselves and think it's great advice, btw.
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    you will see him on TV
    any given sunday
    win the super bowl
    and drive off in a hyundai ...

  11. Just as an aside....thank you for giving me an excuse to remember game six of the 1993 World Series. 8)
  12. Sorry to threadjack, but I am also a long time reader first time poster. I am a junior in college and just accepted my first internship. I would like to do some freelance/stringer work this summer in addition to the internship, but I was wondering how I should go about contacting the local newspaper. I am thinking an email/phone call to set up a meeting to discuss possible opportunities. I guess my question is, do you think a newspaper with a 60 K circulation would be willing to give a rookie some part time work even though my only clips are from the college newspaper? Or should I be looking to apply at a much smaller paper?
    Thank you
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