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Can you start in news and move to sports??

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by williemcgee51, May 5, 2008.

  1. I graduate on Friday and I have an interview for a news position on Wednesday. I really feel confident about my interview and believe I can get a job as a news reporter. However, I have been a sports reporter for over five years. Here is my question -- if my entry-level job is in news, can I get back into sports? I love sports, but I am a reporter and want to get my foot in the door. I believe that diversity is important and if I have a background in both areas, I think I can do something in this field. I appreciate any input.
    Go Cardinals!!!!
  2. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    You're good up until the last line. Just sayin'
  3. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I got my foot in the door as a news reporter, and eventually made my way back to sports. Few in this business can do both competently.

    A word of caution, though: The worst day in news is 1,000,000 times worse than the worst day in sports. I'd rather take 392,583 high school softball calls than sit in one more City Council/supervisor/school board meeting. Sure, when there's news breaking, it's wonderful, but don't go into news if you can't stomach the pitfalls of the job -- dealing with death and boring-you-to-death government meetings.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    It can be, depending on the situation.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I would think the fundamentals of writing a news story and a sports story are somewhat similar. In both cases, you have to list who and what in the lede, along with answering the where and when.

    That said, I would think the perception of sportswriters compared to news reporters is a harder hill to climb than the reality. As wicked said, there are people out there who can competently write both news and sports.

    I would think you'd have an easier time getting back into sports than you would if you started out in sports and wanted to go into news. Having said that, I'm only going by my perceptions. I could very well be wrong.

    Though I have one more important question: Why are you even getting IN this business? Go. Find a job with better hours, better pay and not so shitty bosses! Now! Before all the papers fold!
  6. Rex Harrison

    Rex Harrison Member

    Mr. Go Cardinals,

    First of all, enjoy your time in news. You may be there quite a while. Fact is, at most papers there are three news writer to every one sports writer (or at least that was my experience). In this climate, it may be easier to find/keep a job in news, so don't completely close the door on learning something while you're there.
  7. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    That may very well be the best bit of advice on this entire board.
  8. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Make the most of your news experience and enjoy it.

    Build sources within the city, if that's the beat you may be covering. City council members, commissioners, aldermen, secretaries, "second tier" employees in the departments, police and firemen can point you in the right direction at times, for news or sports.
  9. Stay in news for a while. Your resume will definitely pop more. There is a stigma about sports writers in this industry, and outside of it, and it's tough to overcome unless you have some news experience to prove your chops.
  10. John Newsom

    John Newsom Member

    Short answer: Yes you can go from News to Sports (or the other way around).

    Long answer:

    I was a news reporter (buro, then K-12, then higher ed, then GA) for 10 years in Greensboro before I made the jump to sports. (Sports management, technically.) And I'm back in News, so it's possible to jump/fall back.

    My replacement as assistant sports editor was the city council reporter. She also has 10+ years of print news experience.

    One of the Sports writers was an editor in News before making the jump to Sports.

    So, yeah, it happens.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    You can make the switch, but I don't recommend it.
  12. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Having some versatility on your resume (supported by clips and a stellar interview, of course) can open doors when you're ready to move on to a bigger or better publication. Ideally, you'd make the point to sports at your current locale, but I've seen guys go from News at Location A to Sports or Business in Location B.
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