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Live on a string?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Panhandle PK, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Panhandle PK

    Panhandle PK Member

    I'm always thinking of the worst...

    If I do not get this PT gig at the 80k Circulation paper...
    I can continue to work retail ($13/hr).

    I'd hate to think I wasted this degree.
    Could somebody make a living off being a stringer?
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Yes if you live with your parents or like three roomies. But 13/hr as a stringer, with a lot of responsibilities at a big metro may be better than working for 10 an hour to be the SE at a tiny paper. Its your choice though.
  3. Written Off

    Written Off New Member

    At least where I live, many papers are tightening up stringer budgets at a scary rate. Be careful.
  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    OK, I'll counter - no. You can't.

    With the state of stringer budgets this year - our paper alone rarely had one, but what it did shrunk to near nothing - you can't. The pay you'd get from papers would be low, and the amount of work you'd have to put in to find something of local relevance a paper would need would be not worth the time. You'd spend all of your hours outside a retail job trying to arrange suitors for several months until you built up a decent list.

    If you wanted to pursue magazine writing, which would pay a lot more, be my guest. It would still be difficult to make it on a freelancer's income - not to mention that the high-paying gigs would come after a serious amount of time spent proving your worth and honing your talent.

    Oh, and don't forget about the taxes - because all freelance income is untaxed, you'll get slammed come April.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Not to mention, $13/hour is not bad no matter what you're doing. I've been in this business 10 years (granted, at a small paper) and I didn't crest that number until my last raise. I know a lot of it depends on where you're living, but you can always do worse on the pay scale.
  6. WoodyWommack

    WoodyWommack Member

    You won't get slammed in April, I string for papers all over the place and write off my business expenses and usually end up with negative income on my tax return.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    $13/hr is not good. It's $27,040 a year. To be honest, I know plenty of people starting out at small papers in markets where the cost of living isn't too bad that make more than that. (that includes myself).
  8. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member


    In the right market, it is possible to make a living as a freelancer, and like Woody said, you can write off enough expenses to ease your tax burden. There also are some other "tricks of the trade" that can work for you come tax time.

    Feel free to PM me if you want more details.
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