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Going from a recruiting site to a newspaper beat

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starting17, May 7, 2012.

  1. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    I wanted to ask this question to the sports related section so I'm hoping this is the right area. I was wondering for those experienced or just with general knowledge if I want to go from a college recruiting site to a newspaper beat what are the chances (like do newspapers frown upon that style or no)
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Experience is experience. There's no substitute for it. If the talent to be a good reporter is there, and it impresses the editors at the paper you want to work for, you will get the gig.
  3. At one time it was difficult, but I don't think that's the case anymore. Make sure you don't homer it up too much, or if you do have to homer it up some, at least have some clips that are written in a more newspaper-y style.

    Also, I would play up your experience in things like video, social media, web-posting in a way that will impress newspaper editors who are looking to improve their online coverage. And don't forget recruiting. Every hates covering recruiting, but it's consistently a big draw with readers, so if it's something you're good at, play that up.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I guess working for free, or close to it, for a recruiting site isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
  5. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Beyond the basic objectivity things, not much of a difference - you're writing about a much broader range of things, though some of the recruiting sites have game coverage, practice notes, etc. ...
  6. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    I went from working for two different Rivals.com sites during college to a 55K daily on a specific high school/MiLB beat. Hasn't been an issue. The one thing my editor was concerned with, initially, was print deadlines, but working at the college paper gave me plenty of experience for that.

    Like drip said, there's no substitute for experience.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Good points here. I've gone from newspapers to SID work and back. Not a huge deal. You just have to understand your role in your current job and you'll do fine. If you're lucky enough to start out covering recruiting for a paper, all the better. But if not, no biggy.
  8. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    Thanks guys and yeah I was expecting experience to be at the top of the list but was curious to know what else would be good. Drip thanks. Stitch the pay is well above zero I'm just looking 2-3 years down the road and wanting to make the transition from a reporter on a recruiting site to an actual beat reporter. Mediaguy yeah well the site I currently work for and plan to stay at covers practices and games (both football, basketball and any other sport) along with the recruiting aspect.

    Yeah I think deadlines will be the only major adjustment but when it comes to getting practice reports and game reports out it has to be on pace or better than the other recruiting sites and the local papers (but in Seattle that's near imposable with Condotta covering the Huskies.
  9. If you don't mind me asking, what's the staff like at your place right now? One recruiting reporter, one beat reporter or is that all lumped together? More than one for each?

    I like to think I'm fairly competitive on my beat (comparing myself to the newspaper guys), but there are a few areas I wish I had a more "traditional" editor in. Graduated from J-school at Florida, so I'm pretty good with court records, but the FOIA stuff I'm still pretty new at. Trying to teach myself as much as possible through experience, and I try to seek a good bit of input from the newspaper guys (and gals) I've made friends with on the beat.

    For me, I only have to worry about the beat. I don't do any recruiting reporting unless we need an extra body at a camp or event. I cover football and basketball, primarily, with baseball coverage and other sports when those two are in the offseason.

    Just curious what people in similar situations are working with. I know my market well, but not much outside of it.
  10. Raiders

    Raiders Guest

    Brevity and clarity. Good luck.
  11. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    Well it's one stringer (recruiting guru/that whole thing), then there's me which basically has the beat reporter title (practice/games/media day) which I cover Basketball and football predominantly and on occasion I'll cover a softball, baseball or soccer game (usually when it's more notable). I also go out to some of the high school games as well when I'm not working a certain game that week. Then we also have the owner of the site who also does stringer work, but also goes to some of the games as well.

    I try and do the same to compare what I've got to the newspaper guys around the area and I'll be honest Bob Condotta is a freaking blogging machine. I don't think he's taken a day off in 2-3 years.

    I have to be honest and say having the Florida beat job for basketball and football is a dream job. Do you cover Florida state or the Gators?

    Well for me I don't have the luxury of not having to cover reporting haha. It's basically go here, now go there, now go here kinda thing and right now I have my "time off" technically because there's no football or basketball so its more of resting up and re-energizing until this fall.
  12. Sounds like the pretty standard recruiting site model. I cover Florida, I guess you could say it's a dream job. I admittedly got extremely lucky breaking into the field and landing a quick job in a good spot. Right place, right time. Just glad to have a job at the moment.

    Good luck with making a move.
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