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Going from news to sports

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bob Sakamano, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Bob Sakamano

    Bob Sakamano New Member

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Without going into too many specifics, I'm a May Master's grad with some experience (mostly sports) and two good to very good internships. Starting to apply and look at jobs for when I get done.

    Essentially, here's my dilemma. As an undergrad, I double majored in both journalism and poli sci, and I have some political reporting background as well. I've already got one opportunity I'm looking at for a political gig that would be fairly good -- at least for a recent grad, that is. A lot better than the sports opportunities that I've seen/discussed.

    However, like most folks here, I want to end up one day at a larger paper covering sports. I've already got enough quality sports clips to the point where taking a news gig wouldn't hurt me much with regards to that. But in terms of experience, do sports editors take news reporting seriously? Obviously, my opinion is that they should, but I'm not sure what the consensus is. On the one hand, I'm tempted to look at the higher prestige, higher paying gig... but I don't want to screw myself as far as ultimately moving into sports if that experience is devalued based on the news environment. So I'm curious if anyone has any experience or knowledge of this... thanks for any help.
  2. lono

    lono Active Member

    Take the better gig and do a great job at it.
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    how does someone end up with not one, but two shitty degrees?
  4. statrat

    statrat Member

    If you go in to sports, just be prepared to do actual work and listen to the news side complain about having to work late one day last week.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    but they do get pizza.
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    If I were hiring for a sports section, it wouldn't bother me at all if you worked in news and wanted to get into sports. On some level, you have to do the same sort of thing: Who, what, where, when and how in news and in sports.

    I'd think the transition from sports to news might be more difficult. If you're used to covering Podunk High's girls field hockey and you want onto the courts beat, I'd be more skeptical than if you were covering a high-profile murder trial and you wanted on the Buttmunch State men's basketball beat.
  7. statrat

    statrat Member

    Which I do my best to steal.

    But seriously Bob. Having experience and clips on both sides can't possibly hurt.
  8. Bob Sakamano

    Bob Sakamano New Member

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking but I wanted to make sure I wasn't alone in that.

    That said, the Buttmunch State beat sounds pretty enticing. ;)
  9. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Pizza? Nobody told me there'd be pizza. [/going over to the dark side news side soon]
  10. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    One of the things that impressed me about a recent hire I have is the internship he did in features at a bigger paper. It showed versatility. Working in news shouldn't hinder you going to sports; in fact, I would think it should help you.
  11. hankschu

    hankschu Member


    I also have a "shitty" poli sci degree and was a cityside and business writer for six years when the metro I worked for made me a Major League Baseball beat writer. I have been an baseball beat guy for two decades now. It is rare to work like that, but it happens.

    I think to make the transition, you will need to find a sports editor who is not narrow-minded. It is a risk to go outside the norm and take a chance on somebody outside of the sports department.

    One other caution. If you do work in news and someday go to sports, particularly if you get a good beat, be prepared for a lot of sniping and backbiting from jealous and parochial sportside people who believe that only their own can write sports well.

    Good luck.
  12. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I've done both. Contrary to popular opinion, there are a lot of hard-working newside folk. There's a lot of slackers too, but the same can be said of sports guys.
    Anyway, the bottom line is that I would rather hire people who can write. Can you tell a story? Can you tell me who won the game, and why? Can you keep me interested in your feature on John Doe of Podunk High.
    Too many sports editors are hiring guys who know sports, not who know how to write. I couldn't care less if you can tell me every Super Bowl champion, the score, who they beat and the MVPs if you can't explain to my readers what happened in this year's Super Bowl.
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