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Is it possible?...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    So, at what age should you be where? I figure only studs are covering a pro beat at 26, and more power to ya Gaucho. But if you're 35 and still on preps, is that a sign it's time to call it quits?
    Personally, I'm 30 and an SE, but just don't think I've done enough yet. Like I'm playing catchup with everyone else.
  2. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    There's no one-size-fits-all timetable.
    I didn't even start until I was 32.
    Was on the MLB beat less than five years later.
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    what does that even mean? what if you like doing preps? or you like your paper and your colleagues although you admit you'd rather be covering the pros? or you like the city in which you live?
  4. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Rusty, be careful, your wish may come true.

    After working at weeklies and small twice weeklies, I did a stint at a big city daily, started in news and then went over to sports on a college beat. I freaking hated it. Of course, you kiss all control goodbye when you do that.

    I'd file stories on the college teams, and in the next day's paper there'd be anywhere from 3-6 inches of copy included in it that I didn't write. And nobody asked me about it or told me they were adding it, and subtracting away from my original copy.

    Usually, this involved adding controversial inuendo that nobody would comment on, and the copy added was bullcrap unsubstantiated rumors. Then I had to face SID or the coaches/players involved that day.

    Not to mention the meetings with the paper's senior leadership. That always sucked. Of course, those guys who never had my job in their lives, could do it better than I ever could. don't get me wrong, I'm open to suggestions, but some of their ideas were total crap.
  5. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    no disrespect. I loved covering preps, and at the time, that's all I wanted. But some people want the headaches that come with covering a pro/college beat. That's what I mean.
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    ok. you're not dissing me because i'm out of the business now. (i'm in law school now) but my point is that people who make blanket generalizations like that are being judgmental, arrogant pricks. there are plenty of people on this board who are happy to spend their entire lives as lifers at 5K dailies or tiny weeklies or preps writers are mid-metros or preps-writers at major metros. just because many (or most? i don't know) people in pro beat writers jobs at major metros view themselves as having 'made it' doesn't mean there's anything wrong with people whose ambitions take them in another direction.
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Despite the uncertainty about where our business is headed, there still are paths from small to big if that's your goal. My current shop is 100 times (no typo) larger than my first, but each place has had its good points. And I could see heading back toward the smaller product and covering local sports. There's no shame in preps at any age.
  8. Wow, our stories are very similar. I went to podunk u and didn't do any internships...got a gig at a paper in my hometown (30k daily). I stayed there for five years, before taking a preps gig at a 100K daily more than 1,500 miles away. I spent about a year and a half on preps before being promoted to a pro beat (before I was 30). I did one season on that pro beat before taking another gig at a 220k paper on another pro beat. Since taking that job, it seems like there's even more interest from even bigger papers. So Rusty, just keep working hard and things will start happening for you. Work on your craft and get out there and get to know people (who you know does have something to do with your advancement). Seriously, I left my 30k paper on New Year's Day of 2004 and so much has changed since then. I used to think I'd never get anywhere in this business. Now I'm hoping for things to slow down a bit before I wind up getting in over my head. Keep plugging away. You'll be fine.
  9. MCEchan36

    MCEchan36 Guest

    Just another quick success story, I have a friend who didn't even write for my college paper, but did some stringing for the AP for a couple years before a mutual friend at one of the big dailies pushed his name to a major Northeast paper and now he's covering a NFL team before his five-year college reunion. It's weird how things work.
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