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Need a new newsroom in Vicksburg, Miss.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by e_bowker, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    In an age of cutbacks, the Vicksburg Post in Vicksburg, Miss., is looking for five new reporters and one photographer. We've had a bunch of folks leaving the business on top of several existing openings. Three people left this week (two of them for teaching jobs), so the news side is a little in the lurch.
    The Post is a 15,000 circulation afternoon daily. It's family-owned and has been that way since it was founded in 1883. We publish seven editions a week, but have Sundays off. The town is on the small side, but there are certainly worse places.
    Some fine people have gotten their start here, and it's not a bad job for a recent college grad or someone looking for stability. Given our situation, if you're looking for a job at a smaller paper and have some skills you can probably latch on here easily. I'll assume pay is in the $25,000 a year range, but a more experienced reporter may be able to work out a better deal.

    You can send your resume and clips to:
    Managing editor Karen Gamble
    P.O. Box 821668
    Vicksburg, MS 39182-1668

    For more info, e-mail her at kgamble@vicksburgpost.com, call at 601-636-4545, or PM me.
  2. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I know nothing of this paper, but I'm assuming five is at least a third of the newsroom's personnel, and it begs the question of why a newsroom that size has all those openings at once.

    I'll add this -- an afternoon daily is a tough schedule to keep, especially if you're working sports or in a dual-function (writing/pagebuilding, for instance) job.
  3. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    It's mostly coincidence and timing that three jobs opened in the same week. One reporter had been here for 5 or 6 years, has deep family roots in the city and is leaving to take a job with either the tourism board or the chamber of commerce, something like that.
    The photog and other reporter are leaving for teaching jobs that start in a couple of weeks. The reporter had intended to stay another year before going into teaching, but was able to land a job this year. The real problem has been an inability to fill previously vacated jobs.
    As you can imagine, a paper this size has a decent amount of turnover from people moving on, washing out, or just getting into the business and realizing it's not for them. When they've left, a lot of those jobs hadn't been filled. I don't think they were advertised too well, but it's just become something the newsies learned to live with. Extra workload might have something to do with why some of them left, but I'm not 100 percent sure on that. Now, with these folks leaving all at once, it's kind of a major issue.

    As for the duties, all of these jobs are on the news side. Unless you want to string a high school football game, there won't be any sports. However, you also won't have to do any pagebuilding or editing. Unlike most small papers, we have a pagination staff that handles most of the layout (editors still do layout, but the paginators do the grunt work with InDesign). So these are strictly writing positions.
    And our deadlines are at 11 a.m. in the morning during the week, around 10 p.m. for news on Friday and Saturday. So barring assignments, there's plenty of nights off during the week. And we have off completely on Sundays.
  4. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    Sorry to the Vicksburg staff. OTOH, I think you might not find what you're looking for if this isn't a sports-related job on SportsJournalists.com.
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I'd go to Vicksburg, I have no idea what Vicksburg is like.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Casinos aren't bad at all. I was a fan.
  7. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    I know we'd have more luck if it were a sports opening, but desperate times and all that. Figured there might be some non-sports types on here who might be interested, or sports folks who might know someone who's interested.
    And within an hour of posting this we did get an e-mail. So ... SportsJournalists.com -- it works!
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Can't help notice none of these jobs is on JJobs. It's not the greatest site in the world, but it's probably the place more people go than anywhere else. You gotta get 'em to shell out the money, rather than rely on word of mouth or whatever. Put up one ad if they want to save money, but if they're not willing to spend the 50 bucks to attract some decent talent, then that's not a good sign.
  9. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    e, this is a solid point. Seriously, if the paper isn't willing to spend the money to advertise the jobs, potential applicants would be right to be concerned over other financial issues. Like their pay, benefits and expense reimbursements, whether they can expect raises, etc. By they time they graduate from college, most writers with any intellect realize it's probably not going to make them rich. On the other hand, they shouldn't have to starve for it, either. If a paper won't pony up the money to advertise openings, it's not a stretch to think it'll try to do things on the cheap in other areas.
  10. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member


    In your best paragraph, define the essence of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  11. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Even in the long-ago days we were hiring, we rarely posted our jobs either (and it wasn't because we didn't want to spend for an ad). In this case, it will be harder to fill non-sports jobs in an early-cycle place; sports types seem more willing and OK with moving three or four times in the first half-dozen years of a career.
  12. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    Honestly, I'm not sure if the ME knows what jjobs is. She didn't seem to know what SportsJournalists.com was when she got a response last night. From hearing her talk, she was mostly trying to put out feelers through her contacts to find people. She's been in the business 30 or 35 years and worked at several papers, so she knows quite few editors, professors, etc.
    Think what you want about that, but I don't believe it's because the paper is cheap. We just installed a new operating system and bought new computers for the entire newsroom in the last year and have a 12-year-old building. Salary may be a different matter, but it's a 15K. You're not going to make six figures here, but you will get something you can live on. I will say that I've gotten a cost of living raise every year I've been here.

    I've worked here in sports for 10 years and, since the new general manager took over in 2001 or so, have never seen any instances where they skimped on worthwhile projects. Hell, last year they sent me to Omaha when Mississippi State made the College World Series, and we've usually had a green light to send someone to State, Ole Miss or Southern Miss every week for football games.
    How that translates to the news side, I don't know. But in a decade in Vicksburg, I've often felt very fortunate to be here.
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