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Clips advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by toolsofignorance, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Forgive me for sounding like a clueless n00b, but this is the first time I've really dealt with this and I wanted to see what you SportsJournalists.com savants thought, and maybe it will be useful for someone else.

    I'm stringing and freelancing right now for a few places, and I'd like to use one of the stories I did for the local rag as one of my clips. The problem is, the desk gave me way too much inches-wise for the space they actually had two nights in a row, so in both cases my story was randomly butchered more than in half for the sake of space (it was pretty brutal). I thought maybe they'd put the full version online as I've had experience with in other places, but no cigar. And since I'm just a stringer, I didn't think it was my place to say anything about it.

    So what do I do here? Am I just screwed out of actually having a good clip from this gig, and should I just forget about it? Or do I use the full story as a clip and make a notation about what actually ended up in print?
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Yes, you're screwed because clips have to be published work. But if it's just a gamer, there will always be another one coming up.
  3. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    I'm a bit of a NOOB myself, but just an idea....could you take the clip in along with your extended version? I know this is probably pointless with gamers since there are always new games for new clips.

    But (1) could this work, showing what you can write, and (2) could it be a good idea, showing an editor what your work is like before an editor goes over it? I know sometimes editors get some pretty bad writing they have to wade through and wrench into print quality.

    Just ideas....
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Here's a question I have:

    Being primarily a copy editor, I haven't written that much in the last few years. One of my clips that I like, though, has a hed bust on it that another copy editor put in the paper. I made a PDF of both the original page, and fixed the hed bust with the correct headline on another PDF.

    Would it be wrong for me to send the clip with a corrected headline?
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, yes, it would be wrong.

    You have to use what was published. Them's the breaks. It's assumed that you'll have enough good clips that some won't have mistakes.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I disagree. The purpose of clips are to showcase YOUR work, not someone else's. It's like an athlete compiling a highlight tape to try to get a scholarship.

    When a person is new in the business and starting out, they might NOT have much in the way of published stuff. So you use what you do have.

    If YOU did the research/coverage, did the interviews and legitimately wrote the story yourself (but the copy desk chopped it), I don't see anything wrong with using the original version as a clip if you liked it. What you are showcasing is YOUR work, not whomever happened to print it. Employers are less impressed by WHO you strung for than what you can actually do.
  7. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    all good and well mark, assuming reporters also send in their unedited copy. but none of us like to admit we made mistakes, now do we?
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    to clarify, someone can be mad at the desk for slashing a story or writing a hed bust, but plenty of reporters are saved by the desk as well. so, let's not act as though copy editors are the only at fault for errors in print.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I totally agree. I've thanked copy desk guys for fixing my mistakes and had them thank me as well.

    I'm just saying the writer shouldn't have to throw out a clip he liked just because someone else butchered it.
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member


    It sucks, but *** too bad. Find another clip. You don't manipulate it after the fact. That's a basic rule of journalism.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Then feel free to tell the hiring editors that you are doing that and see how they feel.
  12. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    Don't use the edited clip if you don't like it. On the one with the bad head, the editor will know you didn't write it .. . but I'd use something else. Do not under any circumstances send copy off your computer that did not appear in print, or fix anything.
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