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News or sports internship?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by azbjn9101, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. azbjn9101

    azbjn9101 New Member

    Was recently offered a position (summer internship) on the news desk at a major metro. My background is all sports. (internship, part-time at local newspaper, school paper)

    Should I take this versus a sports internship to diversify my background? Will I fall behind other sports candidates by taking a news internship versus a sports one or might it make me look more attractive as a future candidate? Is covering news really not as boring as I once thought?

    If you've made the jump, let me hear from you. Any advice is welcome, up to and including "Get out of the business."
  2. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I made the jump from sports to news back in 1999. Never regretted it.

    Lot broader range of topics to cover, and better hours, to boot.

    Still: You can take this internship and get back to sports sometime. Whatever you do, as long as you're becoming a better, more well-rounded reporter and writer, is good for your career.
  3. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I would take the news internship, especially if you've already got/done some sports stuff, and especially if it's at a major-metro paper. That could be a wide-ranging, far-reaching opportunity.

    Sure, you might end up writing up some briefs round-ups, or wind up covering the Harvest Festival. But, you know what? Anything and everything can be done well.

    Do that. Do everything as well as possible, without regard to and without taking offense at what it is, or what else you might rather be doing instead of that.

    And then, if possible, make it known that you'd be very much interested in getting some work in on the high-profile news beats -- the police beat, the courts/government, and education.

    There are some great stories to be found, mined and executed -- always -- on those beats. They're full of interesting, intriguing and/or just plain old informative or important stories, and if you get into it, and get some good opportunities (which should be possible, and probably even, encouraged, at a major-metro), you may even find that you prefer news for its real-life, every-day importance and variety of opportunities.

    You'd also probably learn something about dealing with tough topics and tough sources, and maybe get some exposure to dealing with court or financial records/personnel and the use of the FOIA. This is all good.

    You'll also widen your horizons, and might expand your possibilities/options, too, if things should ever go south for you, career-wise, in the future.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's a no-brainer. Take the internship at a major metro. That reference from an editor will be priceless.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Some time learning how the news side operates can only help you. I spent 10 years on the news copy desk and also covered the occasional fire, weather, accident and election night story and also a few obits of local newsmakers. Definitely gives you a perspective you won't find covering the local youth swim meet or high school badmitton finals.
  6. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    take the news side gig. for all the reasons above, and more.

    a news side gig will actually make your resume stand out in the eyes of a smart sports editor.
  7. DennisReynolds

    DennisReynolds New Member

    I was in a similar position to you a few years back and would definitely recommend taking it. Out of that news internship, I got a few of my best clips, a good reference and a lot of terrific experience. It improved my writing and reporting more than any sports internship or job I've had and didn't have any sort of negative impact on going into sports.
  8. ringer

    ringer Member


    You'll learn how to deal with police, medical examiners, politicians, courtrooms, and more. Plus, you'll learn how to write cleanly, accurately and on deadline.

    True, newswriting is a litle formulaic (i.e. inverted pyramid), but it's outstanding training.

    I've found that, in general, young reporters who only know how to write sports tend to be less resourceful and far more timorous when it comes to covering hard issues.
  9. Ice9

    Ice9 Member

    I did a summer internship news side at a metro a few years back, and it's helped out my sportswriting 200 percent.

    Do the news internship at the major metro. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool.
  10. House

    House Member

    News. Learn how to do real reporting and don't be one of thousands of dumbshit sports writers who think reporting is showing up for a high school basketball game and writing a story right after. I work with too many of those as it is.
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