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Disadvantage for Canadians

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mattklar, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. mattklar

    mattklar New Member

    Do you think living in Canada has an effect on how successful you will be as a sports writer? Do big name companies like SI, ESPN, and/or Big name newspapers ever hire from Canada.
  2. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    It's tough to make it in Canada, for several reasons:
    1) There are exactly eight professional franchises among the four "major" sports.
    2) University and college sports get little (if any) television coverage
    3) University and college sports get little (if any) fan support
    4) University and college sports get little (if any) corporate money
    5) There are, maybe - what? - four cities with a population of 1 million

    However, some have made it:
    1) Dan Schulman (ESPN)
    2) Jeff Blair (Seattle, but I forget which newspaper)
    3) Michael Farber (SI)
    4) Scott Burnside (ESPN)
    3) I'm sure there are others

    And, of note, ESPN is partial owner of TSN and I see more and more TSN anchors writing pieces for ESPN.com

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT: Kept thinking about it, and sports don't matter as much in Canada as they do in the USA - aside from hockey, of course. Everywhere I've ever worked, people say "oh, you're a sports reporter, you must cover the so-and-so junior hockey team." Not always, I've actually turned down hockey beats because there's so damn many of them.

    If you're a sports reporter in Canada, you love your job. I can't see any other reason to be one. Think about it: You want to cover a MLB baseball team? There's probably about 10 jobs maximum in Canada. You want to cover the CFL? Six to 10 jobs nationwide.

    Canadians - especially at the university level - care WAY MORE about school than sports. Sports don't make money and there are few dollars/scholarships available for athletes.
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Peter Jennings.
    Morley Safer.
  4. joe

    joe Active Member

    Ask Jonesy.
  5. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Gare Joyce (ESPN The Magazine and some other outlets) has done OK for himself, too.
  6. O/U on how long it takes JR to find this thread? I say 12 hours.
  7. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Believe he posts on here too.
  8. mattklar

    mattklar New Member

    I mean Carleton University is one the most prestigious j-schools in NA. If you read it on a resume, are you editors out there impressed?
  9. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Not unless the resume is attached to 10 good clips.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Personally, I love the three-page cover letter.
  11. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I know Carleton grads who wanted to be writers, are at big metro papers and haven't written a story.

    I also know community college grads doing some good to great things.

    I also know Ryerson grads who are working in the sticks waiting for a break.

    There's more to being successful in this biz than the school from which you graduated.
  12. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    First off, what you took in school and where you went to school doesn't matter for shit.

    As for being Canadian, there are plenty of us doing work for American operations. I think TV is the most common avenue, because of the trails blazed by the likes of Peter Jennings and our accentless, dulcet tones (John "J.D." Roberts seems to be Anderson Cooper's mop boy; David Amber went to ESPN from TSN; that hugely annoying Hazel Mae jumped from Sportsnet to NESN, I think). But in print, there are good numbers, too. As mentioned, Michael Farber moved from the Gazette in Montreal to SI, and Gare Joyce moved from the Globe and Mail to ESPN the Magazine and other outlets. Also, Graydon Carter, the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, is a Canucklehead, and Guy Lawson, who was writing for GQ last I checked, is one, too. There's also a guy at Rolling Stone.

    Newspapers, I think that'd be a tougher sell.

    Also, it might work against you if want to live and work in the U.S., because then you'll need a Green Card, which means you'll need someone to really want to bring you down south. (It's expensive and a pain in the ass for everybody.) And you're first job probably won't be at some big Yanquis outfit... Just about everyone I can think of established themselves in Canada in some way and then made the cross-border jump.

    Bottom line, it's like everything else in this business: It's not easy, but it's not impossible.
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