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General state of the industry thread.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DanOregon, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Definitely agree with this. And also, if you want to cover some sort of pro sport, or a high level college team, try to get as close to that level as you can. Meaning, I think even if you're doing great work on the HS baseball beat in Wyoming, it's unlikely that you're going to get tabbed to be a beat reporter for the Red Sox. But if your area has the Woonsocket Red Sox or their AA team, or if you're covering Central Connecticut and now want to get hired by an outlet that covers UConn, that's an easier jump for people to process.
  2. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    I don't know how many papers do this, but Rick Hummel at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch usually has an intern working during the summer in baseball season. Ben Frederickson was a Hummel intern, and, after full-time work elsewhere, he's now he's a columnist at the paper. If you can find an opportunity like that, jump at it and work your ass off.

    Doing the work is the job.

    And read this thread: Writing for mags like The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, etc.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    That's actually the way to go. Newspapers are dead. The websites live on and the only way to survive is to freelance while getting a well paying job in PR, communications, marketing for companies that are hiring. Smart person here. Journalism is dead. The need for it and desire for it is there, but the big companies ruined the business. Get out now.
    Writer likes this.
  4. Situation

    Situation Member

    I hear you loud and clear, but a man has to eat and provide for himself and his family. What can you really pursue in journalism these days that is enjoyable and delivers compensation that is enough to get by on?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    sgreenwell and Writer like this.
  5. tonygunk

    tonygunk New Member

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    I’m doing quite well financially. No debt, I have some money saved up. But no retirement savings or 401k.

    The main issue is I’m far from home in this job, the paper is quickly declining and I’m not quite as happy about doing irrelevant work that no one really cares about for little pay. I have almost no personal life and work takes up so much of my time. The “hey, at least it’s enjoyable!” side of that is losing its luster.

    The internship/higher job stuff is fairly obvious. I don’t have any doubt that I’ve done as much as I possibly could to try and get a better sports journalism job than this one. I had a fairly competitive/prestigious internship right out of college before taking this job I have now. I have good clips here, I know that. I think you guys are right about those intermediate jobs not existing. I would honestly be better off doing freelance because I’d have a better chance of latching on, like a few of you have said.

    In the meantime, I’m gonna need to move to a larger city and find a job. Hopefully one that I can get lined up before my lease ends, but like I said, I’m not sure of the odds of me being able to veer in the direction of PR/marketing. Especially considering the place that would have to hire would need me to move at least a few hours.
  6. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    As near as I can tell, the Garden City Telegram is operating on a form of autopilot. I just now found out the managing editor was laid off in May (He announced a few hours ago that he's found a job in PR for the local hospital, which led me to look down his Twitter timeline). The sports editor left just before the fall sports season began and it appears that the other sports guy left at the same time. None of them have been replaced.

    When I looked at the website a while ago, I found one writer and the staff photographer. That's it. And the photog has been tasked with writing whatever sports he can. The publisher runs things out of Topeka.

    There's three people in sales and two writers. How's it possible to sell something that has no content?
  7. Ice9

    Ice9 Active Member

    Marketing is EASY?!? FOH.

    Unpacking a few thoughts here....

    1. I work in marketing now for a tech company, mainly b2b acquisition and engagement. Compared to my past stops in national media, this was by far THE MOST intense vetting process of my career, and it's not even close.
    2. I am only speaking for myself when I say this. But whoever is telling you this shit is easy, get new friends. You're gonna be throwing bows with people who went to college for this, people know all about the sciences behind marketing, how to shape buyer personas, how to A/B test, how to nurture MQL's and MAL's, top-funnel vs. mid-funnel and retention, etc. The writing is merely one element of a large pie.
    3. This is not a charity. Marketers aren't interested in hiring the Schefter's and Woj's of the world. They want brand-builders, and they want thought leaders. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build a brand for a startup media entity early in my career and it paid off tremendously throughout the vetting process. You want to be able to point to the scoreboard. Emphasis on thought leadership — leverage your platform at your paper to create conversations, not document them. Nobody in marketing is going to give a shit that you can break news.
    TigerVols, Slacker and HanSenSE like this.
  8. tonygunk

    tonygunk New Member

    Dude, I didn’t say it was easy. I just said it seems a lot of people talk like it’s simple to get an entry level job in PR or marketing.
  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    In marketing, or sales, it can be easy to find entry level jobs. As Ice9 suggests, it's harder to keep them - the job is really stressful, results-judged, etc. I imagine the burnout rate is really high.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I couldn't bring myself to hit "Like" for such a depressing post, but your question is spot-on.

    If there's a handful of local photos and one writer left at the paper, why would anyone keep reading it, let alone advertise in it?
  11. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to try and get my hands on a copy of it today and see what it looks like. Shouldn't be too hard since it's available in about 12 counties though it appears that it's barely capable of serving its home county right now.

    (EDIT: It's worse than I thought it would be. Twelve pages, three local stories, two of which were submitted press releases — including the only local sports item. Three pages were either classifieds or nothing but ads.)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  12. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Garden City loses by 30, but tries really really hard!
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