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Career advice, please.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wittyc, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    Completely agree. You want your shot at only half the jobs in a good newsroom, skip the layout training.
    You want to get your foot in any door, do the layout.
    If you get a layout job at a good paper and still want to write, volunteer to do whatever is available - do the assignments no one else will do or identify a beat that isn't being serviced (horse racing, for example, whatever) and say you'll keep an eye on it.
    Work extra hard for a few years. It will be noticed.
    Or you can no learn layout, get a writing job at a dumpy small paper, and stay there for the rest of your life.
    I'm sorry, but that advice about being ignorant about layout is just dumb.
    You seem like a go-getter.
    Go get it.
  2. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    That's a bit of B.S. If you design -- or a designer writes -- the respect for the other half of the people putting out your paper increases and you have a better work environment. If you're saying you're writing can't improve because you have to design here and there, then you're lazy.
    It has nothing to do with laying out pages.
  3. sportsed

    sportsed Guest

    Boy, you wade through all of the muck and crap and haze this site has to offer and then you find true pearls of wisdom such as this one. Few truer words have ever been written.
  4. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    wittyc --

    Apply for any job that looks interesting. Be honest with yourself to know where you would and wouldn't go...i.e. if you cannot conceive of moving to California, don't waste people's time by applying for a job in San Diego. But after that, apply for anything and everything. See which places show interest and do some research on here ... if it is a part-time job, go to the jobs board and throw a question out there about if Paper X is good about moving PTers in FT positions. If it is a FT position at a smaller paper, ask if the place is a good springboard to bigger papers (i.e. a 25K that is known as a pipeline is a better option than a 40K that leaves you stranded). But limiting yourself now in terms of FT/PT, big paper/small paper, is just setting yourself up for limited options later.

    And definitely don't worry about the degree -- you are in a perfectly fine situation because you have a four-year degree and enough clips that an editor can judge if they think you will be a good writer. Also think about this: would you really want to work for an editor so anal that they would disqualify a candidate because they didn't have the right degree?
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Having a degree is what is important. Having an economics degree is fine if you have experience.

    If you want to work in a big paper at a large city, you could consider applying for editing/clerk type jobs to get in the door, but they can be traps. It's hard to come to a big paper as a clerk or editor and be considered for reporting jobs.

    Talk to the editor of the paper you have been working for and see what he suggests.

    But if your clips are good, you should be confident about finding a good situation.
  6. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    If it's a choice between full-time at a decent 40K circulation or part-time at a large paper, I'd choose the full-time job. You might get promoted at a major paper, but you could just as easily get passed over for promotions and pidgeonholed (sp?) as a part-timer there. That said, if you have no full-time offers, and a big paper offers you a part-time job, take it. You'll probably get very good editing there.

    Also, don't shy away from your economics degree. You may have a leg up in understanding sports financial issues. It might also make you an attractive candidate for jobs in news or business.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Just from my standpoint, this learn layout/don't learn layout argument isn't as black and white as some are painting it.

    If you want to have a better chance at being employable, and that's what matters, then learn layout. Any skills you have will give you a better chance of getting a job.

    But look, some people aren't cut out for layout, or simply have zero interest, and if they want to try to make their careers strictly from the writing side, that's up to them. It'll make it harder, but it can be done. There are still a lot of writers in this business who don't know Quark Xpress (or however you spell it) from Quark in Deep Space Nine.

    Frankly, if you're going to worry about extra skills but concentrate on "writing," then be as open as you can to cross-platform things, like flash writing for the Internet, blogging, podcasting, using cameras to record spot news -- and any new thing that comes down the pike. Don't look at it as extra work when papers start talking about such things -- look at it as extra opportunities.
  8. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    What he said.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Jesus, an 11-month-old thread? You bored today, chaz?
  10. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    It's at least the second resurrected thread I've seen today.
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i'm not a big fan of reruns, either.
  12. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    Chaz is either the biggest tool in the shed or doing Andy Kaufman-style performance art.
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