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I've come to a fork in the road, but am I hungry enough to use it?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SuperflySnuka, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Hello all, hope everyone's having a good night.

    I'm graduating college in about a month and a half, and I'm weighing my options...

    I've gotten some good response from one APSE Top-10 40-100K, two APSE Top-10 under 40K, several papers in Texas (where I'd love to cover HS football) and a pseudo internship offer from an APSE Top-10 40-100K in the 95K/day range.

    Here's an early list, in descending order of likelihood...

    1) Move to San Francisco or New York, freelance and bartend/wait tables while writing my movie, take (get?) internship in the fall.
    2) Move to San Fran or NY, get a menial office job in a PR or marketing firm, freelance and write my movie.
    3) Move to APSE Top-10 40K-100K in a major U.S. city where I know no one.
    4) Move to APSE Top-10 under 40K in minor U.S. city in shitty state.
    5) Move to small-town Texas (Odessa, Midland, Amarillo, etc) and cover football.

    Ultimately, I want to be a magazine writer or columnist (pipe dream, I know)...but from all of my mentors and contacts, whom include SI contacts and major paper columnists and editors, they say that I don't need to go the old route (small town, small beat to bigger town, bigger beat to biggest town, small beat, etc.)

    Any suggestions...
  2. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    The only thing I would say is: you are assuming the "small town" Texas papers have jobs open. They don't.
  3. Dude, circulation really shouldn't be at the top of your list of factors. Grill the hell out of the prospective employers and find the one that's going to be the best fit for you ... bigger rarely means better ... you should definitely be considering ownership before you worry about circulation.
  4. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    I'm curious about this movie! What's it about?

    As far as the first job goes, I think having a comfort level where you work is huge. So you there's an editor you feel you'll be more comfortable with, or an area you like, that could be an important factor. There's more than one way to get where you want to go, so go where you think you'll have the most fun.
  5. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    My advice is take the PR job and freelance. Don't job at a job unless it's a springboard.

    Now is not a good time for the industry and media consolodation and the internet is changing the journalism industry. Read this board enough and you will see gripes about shrinking newsholes and staff shortages.

    I would never take a small small paper or a weekly job if you want a rapid rise. I know great prep writers who could never break out because of luck and timing. There is also a major bias these days against people who are on smaller papers. I would go pay my dues at a bigger paper if I could do it all over again.

    I know texas is great for high school football, but I would stay away from a prep beat on a smaller paper. A prep beat on a bigger paper would be fine. I have seen too many good writers pigeon holed as prep writers only.


    Most importantly though, go toa staff that will allow you to take chances. You don't want to go to a clip factory. If they have veteran staffers who can critique your work, that is worth its weight in gold.
  6. Umm, the ones I've talked to do...

    Regarding circulation vs. job fit - I agree, for the most part. I still think the best writers are at the biggest papers, where coincidentally, many of the best editors are. Which is what I want most - the opportunity to write and learn from the best of the best...

    JFS1000 -
    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. That's looking like the best gig so far. With magazines and websites going so much toward freelance, I feel that if I keep sharpening my writing, I'll be able to grow my freelance portfolio more and more...
  7. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    Don't assume the best writers are at the biggest papers. That's not how it works. Some of the most talented people you will come across are prep writers who for whatever reason never broke out. If you really want to learn your craft, take in everyone at face value. If you want to learn how to write, you will have to go to a smaller paper. Metros don't have time for you to find a style and voice. You have to already have it.
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Just thought I'd point out that the three papers you mentioned in Texas don't have sports openings presently. That is all.
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    My advice to you is to begin drinking heavily.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    You'd better listen to him. He's pre-med.
  11. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    If you think you're going to be a magazine writer or columnist, you sure as fuck better not take a PR or marketing job.

    Career suicide. That and you'll get used to making good money and never look back.
  12. BYH - can you expand further on the "career suicide" line?
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