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Don't know where to start- Help

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hplove, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. hplove

    hplove New Member

    I am a new journalist who is interested in getting into sports writing. I'm interning at a paper now and was given some advice by one of the sports writers here. (thankfully) My sports background includes growing up with a football coach for a dad and a brother who was into everything imaginable. I know the rules of many sports and the general idea of others but honestly don't know a whole lot.
    However, I do like to watch sports and am looking to make myself more marketable. (I am female and have noticed that there aren't a lot of female sports writers.)
    I was told to start out here explaining my situation and asking for advice, and then move on to reading as much sports writing as I can. Any more advice? Even an introduction about how you got where you are would help.
  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Honestly, this thread is doomed. In theory, this would be a great place for advice for a youngster from vets. But it rarely seems to work out that way. Your best bet is to find someone you know/can trust who's in the field, and when that person has a few minutes, pump them for information. Maybe contact a journalism professor from a nearby college who could talk to you about the field for a few minutes some time.

    But take what you get here with a grain of salt. A big grain.
  3. JME

    JME Member

    Read a lot and write a lot. Get someone who knows what they're doing to edit you and advise you. Repeat over and over.
  4. Mira

    Mira Member

    You may want to check out this group -- Association for Women in Sports Media (Web site: www.awsmonline.org). AWSM has an annual convention, which includes a job fair, and the conventions were a great source of networking and job hunting (for me at least).

    I got started as an agate clerk in sports at a major metro. It's not glamorous work, but led to some freelance reporting and decent clips for my resume.

    And as others have mentioned, read, read and read some more. And WRITE.

    As far as making yourself marketable ... determination and writing talent are key.
  5. JME

    JME Member

    I should add, there are some very gracious people on this site who would be happy to read your stuff and give you feedback. It's invaluable.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    It's actually www.awsmonline.org, but it's a great organization if you're early into your career.
  7. Mira

    Mira Member

    My bad in screwing up the Web site address. But it is a good organization, especially if you want advice and insight.
  8. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i second the advice about reading as much sports writing as you can. don't limit it to your own paper. by the old best american sports writing books from the past few years and read them all (probably can get old ones cheap online). read sports illustrated. read the features on espn.com. read every staff written sports story in the new york times every day. all of this is easy to do for free online if you can't afford subscriptions to SI and the NY Times. read other large papers too like the LA Times, washington post, etc. you'll see some bad sports writing and some good stuff.

    if you want to know more than just the rules, watch a lot of sports, too. you'll get more of a sense of what's going on than if you just know the rules.

    then once your internship is over start stringing for your local paper wherever you live. maybe the major daily won't hire you as a stringer but weeklies will often need people to cover preps games.
  9. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    You know what? I have a thought...

    We get a few of these a year. And the responses are always similar -- read a lot, write a lot, et al -- with a few unique viewpoints sprinkled in.

    I know we don't want to OD on sticky threads, but maybe we ought to start one, in the writers' workshop or just a standalone, and call it "advice for young sports writers" and then when anybody comes here with a similar request, we can send 'em there.

    I suppose the drawback is that doesn't allow for speaking to unique circumstances. But it would save some helpful types here writing the same things over and over.
  10. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    good idea. we have a newbie looking for advice at least once a week.
  11. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    The above suggestions are all good. I realize this is obvious, but: Learn how to report. Of course, your writing skills are important, but it won't matter if your competition is scooping you. Learn how to work a beat, how to interview, how to use public records, etc. Also, is your internship in sports or news? If it's in news, could you pick up a sports assignment?
  12. Who are these people, JME?

    I'd love some feedback.
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