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In-state sports reporter, Arkansas-Democrat Gazette — Little Rock

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Jason Yates, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. MovingOnOut

    MovingOnOut New Member

    Can't blame him there.

    I know that the world doesn't exactly work this way, but the fact that you can apply for 40 jobs and not hear a "no" from a single one makes it even worse. I applied for a position at a paper I had interned and strung for. I don't think my application was as strong as the guy who was hired, but I never even heard a "no" from them. Given my time there, a simple one-line email would have gone a long way when I was passed over.

    The industry has HUGE issues systematically. It's slowly turning itself into a non-viable one and we're all essentially playing hot potato. Most get out and toss it away but some get caught with it and either get stuck or laid off. There's no loyalty, no livable wages and no emphasis on improving the product we put out. It's just a non-stop grind at most newer papers, one that doesn't pay well and doesn't afford much of a social life.

    This ain't a way to make a living, that's for sure.
     
  2. Adam94

    Adam94 Member

    Just to jump on the train here, this really is a problem. I don't think it's unique to journalism but it feels particularly bad in our industry. What MovingOnOut said happened to him is perfect evidence. If you're that editor, that's a really sh*tty way to treat a former employee/intern/stringer of yours.

    I'm in a spot now where I'm applying for new gigs, getting my hopes up, getting impatient with the response time and then getting used to the facts of life. Almost no one is going to bother saying "Thanks but no thanks." Shame. That's not the type of boss or hiring manager I want to be someday.
     
  3. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    Experience doesn't equate to talent. Experience doesn't equate to fit.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not everyone gets to have the career they want or dream about. You know how you were told that if you work hard and put your time in, you'll be rewarded in the end? It's a lie. You ain't guaranteed shit. You work hard because that's what an adult is supposed to do at their job. You work hard because it's the right thing to do. Expecting to be rewarded with a promotion or new job opportunities is a fool's errand, especially in this industry. Yeah, it may work out that way, but it's also about networking, finding the right fit at the right time, and luck.

    I had job offers pulled on three separate occasions after graduating college. Why? Because I had the misfortune of graduating during a global recession. Those jobs were never filled (one outlet doesn't exist, another was sold, and the third is a shell of what it was at the time).

    If MiamiBoy were an f'in stud (to use a vintage SJ term), he'd have gotten one of these jobs he's posted about. He hasn't. So that means he - like 95% of us - has work to do to improve some holes in his game. Hence my suggestion to focus inward and improve your resume. Don't just bitch and moan about not getting hired. Talk to your editor about wanting to improve. If your editor is a stiff, talk to your old college journalism advisor. If you got an interview with an outlet but didn't get the job, follow up and ask where you fell short so you can improve. Use the APSE networking and tools to get better.

    Make all the bootstraps cracks you want, but self-improvement and an honest assessment of your skillset (and how your resume looks to prospective employers) is a huge component of getting a job in this business. The rest is up the roulette wheel.
     
  4. JPsT

    JPsT Member

    I don't think either of you are wrong here. On the one hand, we all have felt the harsh slap of 'the market', know there are no jobs, understand cutbacks, etc. We've seen a lot of hiring decisions that aren't fair or make no sense.

    On the other, it's very easy to get complacent. A huge issue, however, is at so many outlets there is no one to train and help writers improve. At others, the people who could be coaching up writers simply don't have the time or desire.

    Yet, there are reasons the "Writers Workshop" forum on this board has basically seen two posters since February. It's a lot easier to complain about not getting a job you applied for than to ask for help and put in the work it takes to improve.

    I'm sure as hell guilty of it. These days 'the craft' that even 10 years ago I was so excited about honing has become something of a beatdown. Does this story sing? Does it take the reader into the scene? Did I fall back on boring tropes? Use a quote in the right way? I don't have time to worry about those questions. I've got to hit publish on this and move to the next thing.
     
  5. tonygunk

    tonygunk Member

    Right. I don't think anyone who posted here is wrong, either. It's the bitching about millennials bitching about an industry that works against them that I can't stand
     
  6. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Active Member

    For starters, George has a ton of respect from those around OK/TX. I'm sure I have benefited from being young and cheap for nearly every job I have, from going from a tiny daily to a national outlet. But ultimately, you either have the chops or you don't. Poor work gets exposed very quickly, no matter the age or salary.
     
    Antwan Staley likes this.
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