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Paying dues

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    When I broke into business 10 years ago, I had this idea that I would work my way up the ladder. My first job was a reporter at a 9K-circ., in a very small town pushed into the corner of the state.

    It took me 10 years, and I'm now very happy with my rung on the ladder. But as I look around today, college graduates from 2008 and 2009 have these high-profile jobs, and I just wonder why they didn't have to pay dues the way a lot of us did. Of course, high-profile internships help, and they often lead to jobs upon graduation, but would papers be better suited by going with somone with experience, a guy or gal who has been in the trenches, rather than a recent college graduate?

    It doesn't bother me now, because I have no desire to leave where I'm at, but it certainly bothered me five years ago. And I'm sure it bothers a lot of writers on this board who are just a few years into their careers.
  2. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    If someone is good enough to do the job, then why should "paying dues" matter?
  3. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    You're 100 percent right, and that's not my decision on who is good enough, and who is not. But I'm sure there's a lot of writers who are just as good who are glanced over because they didn't have the right internship. It's not really an argument, just kind of sad.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Younger also equals cheaper. It isn't a phenomenon limited to just newspapers.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I just received a promotion where I took over the duties of the corporate communications director. The previous director worked for 3 days per week and made more than $70,000 per year. I work five days a week and my compensation did not increase to by even one twentieth of what the woman was making. Oh, and when my work load gets too heavy, we outsource work back to her consulting company for $150 per hour. Such is life.

    Sorry for the thread jack, rant over.
  6. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    Life isn't fair sometimes. A lot of times, it's more about the people you know and being at the right place at the right time than anything else. And sometimes, the young kids are as good or better than you at any number of things.

    Expecting everyone to follow the same path does nothing but encourage frustration. It's better just to make the best of your own path and stop worrying about everyone else.
  7. statrat

    statrat Member

    I've been paying my dues for five years at a small weekly. I've won awards, busted my butt to be better in every aspect of my job... and haven't had so much as a sniff at an interview despite applying for dozens upon dozens of jobs higher up the ladder. Most daily papers simply don't take a chance on younger writers anymore, not when there are plenty of laid off journalists with decades of experience who will work for the same level of pay. I don't know where these 2008 and 2009 graduates with higher profile jobs are, but I'd sure like to meet them.
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Paying dues is for suckers.
  9. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Even the phrase "paying dues" is at risk of becoming obsolete, as there are very few union shops left in any field. :(

    Especially journalism.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I see plenty of grads who can't find a newspaper job. Those who work at big dailies either are extremely talented or dad pulled some strings.
  11. Yeah where are these 2008 and 2009 college grads with great journalism jobs? Seems like there are more unemployed young journos than ever
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Seriously, I think that you should be glad that your feet are still on the ladder.

    And some people are better writers than others. Just because someone has been slogging away in Podunk for 10 years doesn't mean they are any better than some kid fresh out of Mizzou.

    Also, money aside, sports editors often hire on potential. They would prefer to fill a prep opening with someone who they see with the talent to become a pro or college beat writer or columnist in a few years.
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