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Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txtraider2010, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. txtraider2010

    txtraider2010 New Member

    Hey guys,

    I have been browsing this site for the last week or so, and I thought I would ask the experts here a few questions.

    I've been doing radio around here for the last 5 years or so. Play by play/color, as well as hosting shows and what not. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, particularly when it comes to sports. The thing I love the most about my job isn't necessarily being on the air as much as it is doing the grunt work. Covering the games, going over stats, breaking down match-ups, and just keeping up with all of it. I love searching for a good story and I love finding different angles to present to an audience. What I would really like to do is get into writing. Im not so sure that I want to land a job for a major newspaper or anything (though I definitely don't rule that out further down the road).

    I'm 29 years old (for another couple weeks anyway!) and I have tossed around the idea of going back and finishing school, which I know is probably in my bese interest anyway, its just not something I can do right this moment. Anyway, I would like to get some things out there. Cover games and write stories that people actually end up reading. Not necessarily for the money, but more just to be able to have something with my name on it.

    I have ran across sites like examiner.com, I've thought about starting a blog, though i'm not so sure how much help that would be. Eventually I would like to establish myself as a quality writer in the area that could freelance stories for a newspaper or website and make some cash doing it, and just get my feet wet.....foot in the door so to speak. Just looking for a little advice any here might have.

    I guess this is where I say......"Ill hang up and listen" :)
  2. Just give the sports editor at your local paper a call, tell him or her what you just typed here and ask if they'd be willing to let you cover something to try it out. Reliable freelancers are always in need.

    You'll probably get sent out to cover something nobody else wants to (think a non-region high school track meet), but if you can do a good job on a couple of the more boring things you'll probably get some calls when football and basketball (or whatever it is you hope to cover) rolls around.
  3. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    A good way to start...don't put a bunch of $$$ into going back to college for training in an industry that appears to be dying or at the least teetering on the brink.
  4. BrianMcDowell

    BrianMcDowell Member

    I'm a little older than you, Tex, and I have no real training and didn't go to a four year university, yet I work steadily as a freelancer for several publications around the city where I live. I even cover boxing for a big metro paper here. That only gets me work once a month or so, but it's a pretty good gig for a relatively old guy with no real journalism background, and looks good on a resume. I get the work by hustling; sending out e-mails every week, asking editors what they need, following up.
    I have also had a little luck on here getting interviews to join the full-time staff of newspapers. So, yeah, their advice is sound, and can pretty easily be done.
    If your politically astute enough to get a sports radio job with no schooling or training, then surely you can get your work into a newspaper.

    Good luck,
    Brian McDowell
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I hesitate to do this because I don't want to sound like a meanie or an ass. I'm behind what you want to do. But you asked for advice and some of it is harsh:

    Learn proper grammar. If I got a note with these basic errors in it during my SE days, I would have dismissed it immediately.

    I have RUN across sites like examiner.com
    a quality writer in the area WHO

    Yeah, this is just a message board and all that. But it matters.

    Good luck. You will make mistakes. I still do. Learn from them and move on.
  6. txtraider2010

    txtraider2010 New Member

    Thanks for the replies. Just what I was looking for.

    Don't worry about being an ass, I am glad you pointed those things out to me.
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