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Career advice needed

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. Costello, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Mr. Costello

    Mr. Costello New Member

    (Note: I apologize if there's a more appropriate place for this thread. Please move it if there is.)

    I have a predicament, and I think the guys and gals on this site have the professional experience to help me out.
    I've been in the industry for eight months. After graduating in May, I was hired on as a sports writer heading a one-man desk at a small daily.
    Apparently it's been a good run — I was offered the opportunity to move up to assistant editor, and I accepted on the condition that I still get the chance to amass sports clips with the odd feature and gamer.
    My question is this: Is it possible to hold this post for a little while and then move up to a larger venue as a sports writer?
    I'll still be writing plenty of lifestyle features and some sports coverage when I get to cherry pick, but will having a title that doesn't include the word "sports" hurt my opportunity to re-enter the sports scene?
    I know plenty of you have been around the block (no offense intended) and have hired and been hired quite a bit, so I thought I'd ask.

  2. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    No. Don't sweat it.
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Take the promotion. Don't think twice. Use the right board (Journalism topics only) next time. And get me a beer. Stone Ruination will do.
  4. bbb1978

    bbb1978 Member

    That's what's nice about small dailies and weeklies sometimes. You have the opportunities to get promoted rather quickly. You're pretty lucky because you now have the opportunities to combine hard news with sports, which will come in handy if you one day have to do a difficult piece on NCAA athletes getting arrested or point shaving at high schools/colleges, stuff like that.
    Learn as much as you can, try not to say 'no' to anything as far as learning new stuff (design, photography, especially multimedia), and find new ways to expand your sports coverage - enterprise, etc.

    Just an idea - one time, I came up with a new series off the top of my head and focused on high school student-athletes and what they go through in order to make Honor Roll while excelling in athletics and other things. You might do that w/ preps or community colleges (or maybe 4-year universities).

    Or perhaps do something like a series on the top 3-4 most ignored sports in your area - bowling, cross country, hunting, fishing, stuff like that. Or perhaps the city council's ignoring putting in that long-talked about new skate park or hasn't refurbished that long-neglected school track or softball field...Or whatever you can come up with that'd get attention @ larger papers.
    Good luck.
  5. Mr. Costello

    Mr. Costello New Member

    • I won't sweat it, then.
    • I'll get right on that, eventually.
    • Thanks for the ideas. Believe it or not, I'm already working on a "who knew?" piece about a local dart league. Seriously, trophies and all.

    Sound advice all around.
  6. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Just to add another voice, the promotion will look good on the resume, and the more writing you can do on various subject, the better the chances of really nailing a great story.
  7. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    this would piss me off if i'm the new sports guy
  8. Mr. Costello

    Mr. Costello New Member

    Thanks again, all.
    TX, I would only take stories that I find. Don't want to step on his or her toes.
  9. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Know a guy who was sports editor of a small daily, left to become reporter at a larger daily. He was told his experience editing helped put him over the top among a solid field. People are looking for multi-talented, multi-skill-sets these days. Being an editor will help you get that.
  10. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    It certainly won't hurt. If anything, the news-side experience will boost your odds of landing a sports job at a larger paper. It'll show you're versatile, can handle a wide range of assignments. You have a golden opportunity now to familiarize yourself with public records, FOIs, etc. Take advantage. Those clips could be your ticket to the next level.
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    And that next level might not be sports, if you familiarize yourself with all those things. Nothing wrong with wanting to move up in sports, but your chances of moving up at all are greater if you can write for more than one section.
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