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Freelance credential question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by azbjn9101, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. azbjn9101

    azbjn9101 New Member

    Late night reading and my mind started wandering off, thinking about possible freelance opportunities at the Final Four since I'm not too far of a drive.

    Now, before you laugh, I'm relatively new at this compared to some of the veteran freelancers that are out there. I'm still in college, been doing it for 2 1/2 years but I do have a variety of good clips.

    I haven't tried an event even close to this magnitude before and I'm guessing it's not even a possibility, but I mean what the hell, what does it hurt to ask ...

    I have worked extensively with one of the city's newspapers and know some people I can talk to there and in the city's media market in general. my plan is to line stuff up with papers that can't afford to send people.

    So how do I go about attempting to getting a credential to this kind of thing?

    Feel free to tell me to get my head out of the clouds too, because that's what I'm expecting.
  2. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    It all depends on who you're representing. If you get a legit paper to send in a request saying you're writing for them, you should be OK. If you file saying you're just going to show up and see if anyone wants what you're selling, not sure that will fly.

    In my experience, Final Four actually seems to be fairly loose on credentials, though. Venue is much bigger than usual for the sport.
  3. azbjn9101

    azbjn9101 New Member

    Just read on NCAA site that deadline to apply was Feb. 27. Who would I contact?
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Good luck. My paper didn't staff the away games in the tournament because of the cost and even though we cover state when they play in E.L. and Detroit, we can't get credentials.
  5. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    You ain't getting in at this point.
    Most places require a freelancer to have a letter of assignment. You get that, you should be golden.
    But now? You are a magician if you can pull that one off.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I would think an event like that would be tough to get a freelance gig for.

    There are only four teams, all from decent sized markets that will likely send a reporter or two. For the others, AP covers the heck out of the event. More copy than you would ever need or want. Unless you are a small-town paper that happens to have a player on one of the rosters and are dying for a perspective that you can't get from anyone else.

    Add to that one of the teams in from in-state, meaning if they really want something they can probably send their own people.

    If I'm some small town in North Carolina and don't have the budget to travel, I'd either content-share with someone else or use AP.
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    The guy who handles the credentials, David Worlock, is a very reasonable guy.

    That said, unless the New York Times or somebody needs an extra hand and uses its influence, you're out of luck. With all respect to Moddy, I don't think magician would be good enough. Divine intervention MIGHT work.

    But maybe not.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Seems strange in a way,seeing that the teams are only determined a week in advance. I would suspect the SIDs have some pull.

    For instance, if I'm covering George Mason a few years ago, no way I suspect they're going to the Final Four in late February. So, I'm guessing there is some leeway there for hometown media.
  10. Why wouldn't you apply? Doesn't take that long and is pretty simple online.

    We cover two BCS teams. One got in the NCAA. One didn't. We applied to get credentials to cover both and were granted with the one that got in. Didn't travel with them, though, but we made sure we had credentials just in case.

    As far as a freelance credential, it's a no-go at this point. That's why the NCAA has a rule that you have to cover a pod or a team all the way through or else you're not getting a credential. That way the NCAA isn't like the Super Bowl and bombarded by every blogger and wanna-be wanting a credential.
  11. stix

    stix Active Member

    Yes, this is correct. I was a beat reporter who covered a major college team for my school newspaper, and the NCAA made it very clear that you had to cover the team from the first round to keep getting credentials for future rounds.

    Now, I don't know how this would work with respect to national media or major-market papers who suddenly need credentials or extra credentials for the Final Four (I'm sure they'd find a way to get them), but I can guarantee they won't give credentials to a random freelancer who just wants in on the Final Four.

    Not to piss on your ideas, cause I'm a freelancer myself and it's always good to search for anything to cover, but you won't get in now.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    To reply to mark2010 and others: Yes, obviously, there are credential avenues if your team just learned it was going to the Final Four.

    I was just talking about the pretty much impossibility of people who were trying to get there to freelance in a general, non-team-specific sense.
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