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Freelancing for AP

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SteveRomano13, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. SteveRomano13

    SteveRomano13 Member

    I've heard a lot of people talking about freelancing for the AP in college. Does anyone know how to go about this?
  2. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    You need to make contact with the sports editor or assistant sports editor, or assignment editor (or someone else who can put you in touch with the sports editor or other sports-desk personnel) at the AP city bureau closest to where you are, and then go from there. If you have no idea who anyone there is, contact the bureau directly and just ask who's in charge in sports (or news, if you're interested in that) and a phone number and/or email address to reach them if possible.

    As for assignments, usually you will be called upon to write short, straightforward, round-up-type items ranging anywhere from a couple of graphs to separate gamers of maybe 8-14 inches, sometimes with a quote or two, but usually not. Most often, the assignments will be gamers, especially at first, although it is possible once you've worked for them for a while to be asked to do/or for you to suggest features or short news stories.

    Often, if you are still in college or otherwise well-connected to a university, you may cover your school's teams (usually basketball, but also, sometimes, baseball, volleyball and other niche sports, particularly if they go deep into postseason). Or, you could, perhaps, also cover other schools if there are multiple colleges nearby, and/or if AP doesn't happen to want you covering your actual school. You should expect to write whatever they ask for, plus provide a full box score/stats (which you can usually have provided to you from event SID personnel after the games).

    If there are freelancers in your area that you know (or could meet/get in touch with) you might see if they have ever done any work for AP, and if so, ask if they have any contact names/phone numbers for you. Or, you might check with some of the journalism department professors or internship coordinators at your university. Sometimes, they have contacts with local-area industry professionals and can put you in touch with someone.

    There is an annual-edition book of newspaper/media publishers, editors and contacts that's been put out for years that you can order and buy with contacts of every paper and most media outlets in the country, and I'd suggest you do that, too. You might not use it often, but it can be handy to have for starting points.
  3. NotMikeLupica

    NotMikeLupica New Member

    Hey, Steve, great question, because I actually want to get involved in this, too. If anyone has any information on the sports editor in NYC, could you please pass it along. Thanks, guys.
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Active Member

    I've seen times where a young journalist can get credentialed to events that AP will already cover and give them free help on the side, like a quote runner. Let's say, you get quotes from the visiting team. Sometimes you just gotta hustle, and they get to know you and your work ethic. One day that AP reporter is going to need someone there to replace him/her in an unexpected absence.
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Shitty pay, ridiculous deadlines, unreasonable demands....

    Dreams do come true!
  6. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    The AP sports writers in each city handle the stringers, not the editors in NY. And quote runners get paid. They don't do it for free.
  7. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    I freelanced for the AP for a bit. It was pretty much that I knew the local sports editor and he set me up based on some other stringing I had done in the area.

    Wasn't too bad. Almost all gamers, almost all with the quick, basic first writes that needed to be filed as soon as the game ended as possible -- not really that hard to do, just have it written ahead of time as the game starts to wrap up. Then usually a longer write through with some quotes a bit after that. I got to do a few things that got picked up a good deal nationally. Didn't do it long enough to go beyond gamers, and can see how the pace and blandness can eat at you if you do it a long time, but I liked it. Wasn't a bad little gig for a while.
  8. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Damn, when did it get so touchy-feely around here? Wasn't long ago a guy would get shouted down for not doing his homework and these type of threads would turn pretty ugly. Not that I miss those golden times. :) Here you go ... good luck!

  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I actually did start wondering about that, too. It shows that the actual work of reporting is not something that even a lot of reporters are very good at, anymore. Or, more probably, it shows that reporters are becoming less and less reporters there days. But the inability to find/look up the most basic of information is a little shocking.
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Oh GREAT. Now look what I started. :) But it's sooo easy to find information these days with this big old Internet out there. Even the worst reporter should be able to find anything relatively quickly through teh Googles. I don't really miss thumbing through media guides. Though they make decent collector's items.
  11. SteveRomano13

    SteveRomano13 Member

    I did my research. I came to SportsJournalists.com to seek out experts' advice. :)
    BDC99 and WriteThinking like this.
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