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How did you get started in journalism?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Football_Bat, May 31, 2010.

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Me, I always had an enjoyment for writing, and I liked sports. Like peanut butter and chocolate, the twain were destined to meet.

    Just so happened I got home from the Army, saw a copy of the hometown paper, and thought to myself, "I can write better than that."

    Gave the paper a call, strung a few games, bada boom, bada bing.
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    I wrote a letter to the editor of my hometown paper criticizing the behavior of parents at a recreational league basketball game. The next time I was at the rec gym someone took a baseball bat (or something) to the rear quarter panel of my car. I thought, hey, this might be a fun career...
  3. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    My senior year in high school, I had to choose an elective. There were two available for the period I had open -- home economics and journalism.
    That got me into it and I quickly became sports editor of the school paper. After our football games, I'd read the story in the local paper the next day and I can remember thinking: "That doesn't sound like the same game I went to last night."
    A year later I started stringing for that same paper and wound up working there for 25 years. I wonder if there were some kids reading my stories and saying: "That doesn't sound like the same game I went to last night."
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Took journalism as a high school course in my junior year, got hooked.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    The English 101 teacher at the local juco asked for stringers one night. He was apparently tired of his wife, a news reporter, covering games on Friday night.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Walked into the local paper during my second semester in college and asked if I could cover some games for free to "get experience." Eventually started getting paid to string, then hung around so much I taught myself Quark and was eventually made a full-time employee. Fifteen years and nine stops later, I'm still in business, but getting paid, although not too much more. :)
  7. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    second semester of sophormore year of h.s., my english teacher assured me i'd be grading high enough to take one of three electives to start my junior year and encouraged ne to do so. they were journalism, creative writing and i forget the third. my dad had gotten me hooked on reading the newspaper at an early age -- by reading the sports pages of the ny times, post and daily news -- so i opted for journalism.

    that class led me to the school paper and ultimately the sports ed gig. once in college, i strayed from journo -- convinced by elders law school was the more realistic, safe option, until my junior year when i decided to follow my heart. folks were very cool about the turnaround, just as long as i poured my heart into it.

    joined the very good school paper and again was sports ed by end of my senior year. sent out resumes. all rejections. then dad came home one october day and said a friend of his at work in the garment district was friends with the personnel vp at the daily news, which was in the midst of a 78-day strike.

    during said strike, about a half-dozen of the news' 50 copyboys quit. would i be interested in one of those jobs? shit yeah! i interviewed and the personnel guy did everything he could to dissuade me -- as a test, i guess -- harping on the awful hours and days off i'd start with -- 9 pm-5 am, mon/tues off -- lousy pay -- 150 a week -- while painting a grim outlook for potential advancement. ("copyboys don't become reporters here anymore").

    i was young enough -- 21 -- and stupid enough to go for it. the strike ended, i started in early november, and 18 months later was a junior reporter. :D :D :D

    YGBFKM Guest

    You started after the strike, or during it?
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Delivered newspapers as a kid --- had three routes at one point.

    Learned a lot by thumbing through the paper while waiting for people to answer the door on collection day. Watergate. The Wallace shooting. The Fischer-Spassky chess championship.

    I got a part-time gig at the local paper while in high school, and my career path was set.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Dad was a radio/TV/print guy and I used to help him call basketball games when I was in junior high/high school, that turned into a little stringing gig for the local weekly and then in college, I worked for the school paper.

    I had seen what life was like in the biz. The hours sucked, pay wasn't great and my life took a couple of other turns before I jumped into the biz full-time when I was 28. Haven't looked back, well, I have. I think about doing other things all the time now.

    Mostly because the biz isn't very stable right now and my paycheck makes me a sad little monkey. I made more 15 years ago as a full-time EMT and Friday night football stringer then I do now.
  11. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Failed athlete. I thought most of us fell in that category. After baseball fell through, I went with Plan B and will always be grateful. That is, until newspapers finally go away.
  12. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    I my newest gig, I will make less than I did six years ago, but significantly more than I did six months ago.
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