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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jakewriter82, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    I've read on previous threads how important networking is in this business, especially when it comes to job openings.
    As I'm about 10 months into my career I'm left with this feeling that I'm not networking as much as I should be.

    For one, the coverage area I'm in is small.
    I share my beat with just one other writer who works for the daily about 30 miles east of here.
    Networking through him I feel would be like networking with my weird uncle.
    He's been at his current job for 15 years, covers the same sports I do and isn't the most reputable writer.

    Really he's the only fellow journalist in the area I see on a constant basis.
    The office I work in is small, there's me, the editor and the education/crime reporter woman.

    They're locals who know less about the newspaper landscape around the area than I do.
    Plus I'd feel weird asking my editor if he knows about any job openings...

    I've used this site and other sites like journalismjobs.com to apply to several jobs already, but I think sending your resume out to a place and hoping they get back to you doesn't always work. There's hundreds of other writers out there in my exact situation who are applying to the same jobs I am.

    I do have references from my internship and my student paper.
    I try to keep in contact with them, they're spread all across the country and it's good to have contacts like that out there.

    But my question is...

    How important is it to have connections who are editors that do the hiring, not writers who are at the same point in their careers as me?
    How would I go about finding those connections? Should I contact some of my former professors? I haven't talked to any of them in a few years.

    What's a good way to network?
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Just talking to other sportswriters/TV/radio folks at games. Shoot the shit a while. Don't seem eager.
  3. BujuBanton

    BujuBanton Member

    I made one of my best contacts through a simple e-mail. If you read a columnist or beatwriter a lot, drop him a line and compliment what they do. Maybe ask about their experiences, how they got to be at the big daily, etc. People don't give out opportunities, you have to build a relationship and let people get to know you and what you're about. I've had writers that are regulars on ESPN respond to my emails, even if its just to say stick with it. I got in touch with a beat writer that got me into a pro press box on a guest credential for a game to see how things worked and slowly but surely I was sitting in that very press box with a job a year or two later. Maybe see if someone from your university is a writer somewhere you see yourself, nothing better than a guy being able to relate to you since he went to the same school, maybe taught by the same professors.
  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    It can never hurt to network with media relations people as well. You may not want to work for them, but they know a lot of people in the business.
  5. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    exactly. networking means getting to know people and having them get to know you as a stand up guy. then when they move on, they put in a good word for you.

    networking doesn't mean telling everyone in the press box on the rare occasions it's not just you and the 15-year vet that you're looking for a new gig.
  6. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    I know I've met several people on here and been offered at least two jobs because of this site.

    Just talk to people. If they say or type something that catches your interests, then hit them up in a PM.

    My $.02
  7. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    Exactly. And don't use the term networking. It's too rigid and corporate sounding.
  8. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Assuming that you cover preps: Go to the state tournament, whatever sport. Basketball, track, baseball. You'll run into reporters from around the state, some of whom might prove to be good connections down the line.

    EDIT: Even if you don't cover preps, go. If you're in a small coverage area, that's one of the best -- and cheapest -- ways to find yourself in the company of other writers.
  9. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    If it's possible for you, I think freelancing and stringing helps a lot as well. I've had editors call me back for other gigs later down the road and, while it hasn't happened to me, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for an editor to rely upon you so much that they may took a look at you full-time when a position opens at their paper.
  10. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    I know this is true. There's a arena football media relations guy in our state who used to be a sports writer. He comes to other events and every time I see him, he'll tell me about job openings before I ever see them posted on the state's press association web site or on JJobs.com. These are great people to get to know.
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i drink scotch with bob jelloneck. how's that for networking?
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