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Career hypothetical

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pringle, Aug 9, 2006.


All other things being equal, including pay (relative to living expenses), which would you take with

  1. Metro paper, 200,000-plus, preps

    13 vote(s)
  2. Smaller paper, approx. 60,000, major college

    27 vote(s)
  1. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    When I did preps for three years at a major metro, most often nights were the only time I could get a hold of anyone. Had very little success with talking to kids over the phone while they're in class. Some coaches might pull a kid from class or get him during lunch as a favor to me, but I almost always worked every night from 5-9 p.m. just because no one was available 9 to 5. Now covering a college, my responsibilities are magnified but I can at least get most of my work done during the day. Then, of course, nights are for games. But all things considered, I'd take the college job over just about anything out there.
  2. greenie

    greenie Member

    Gotta know the history of the major metro to answer. If it has a history of promoting preps guys, then I'd take that gig. If not, I'd go with the 60K.
  3. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    Hope you realize that $40 is considered on the very low end of starting salaries of prep writing jobs at the major metros. (And, no, a 200K circ. paper is NOT a major metro. I'm talking about the APSE top 10/Honorary mention papers.) And, also, most of those preps writers there are backing up big time sports (not some middle of nowhere college) and are next in line to be beat writers.
  4. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    I took this poll question to mean only which would offer better career launching pad in terms of advancement. You could argue all night about which job is tougher or involves more hours. That's not the point.

    Take the same good writer/good reporter and he/she will ultimately get a pro beat at a big paper quicker if being a major college writer at the 60K paper. No question. It's all about visibility and making contacts beyond the home base, and the major college beat at the 60K easily offers more such opportunities. Two or three go-rounds of covering SEC or Big 10 Media Days and breaking a few national-wire stories will do a lot more for you than writing great volleyball takeouts.

    Case closed. Maybe.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Case not closed.

    Everybody's got different ideas for advancement. Not everyone wants to cover a pro beat at a major metro. That's not everyone's pinnacle.

    Because depending on what your goals are for your next (or other future) job, a great volleyball takeout (along with a variety of great gamer, enterprise and other feature-y clips) might do "a lot more for you" indeed.

    To each his own.
  6. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    If you think covering preps volleyball, Lions Club basketball tournaments and Class 2A h.s. bowling tournaments for the next 30 years is as good as it gets, then by all means doing just that is a terrific career for you. More power to you.

    Most of the rest of us have had the worthy ambition of getting into the business to enoy what we do while working our way up, with "up" to 95% of us being either a pro beat, column or management position at a 200,000+ daily. Some of us go onto national .com jobs or switch over to nice-paying jobs in sports talk or TV. Ambition, talent, good contacts and getting some breaks all work into the mix.

    Yes, covering preps (which I did for almost five years) is wonderful and a great chance to develop our talents, but there is so much more. I would guess most folks in here would agree. Or not.
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