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Perpetually cheap

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Brain of J, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Brain of J

    Brain of J Member

    Now, I've come to understand that the newspaper business is not high paying and that there are more than a few nickel and dime shops that will keep as much money from your sight as they legally, or in some cases illegally, can.
    I'm not starting this thread to complain, just starting it as an open question to those of you out there who might be able to answer my question.

    Are there any weekly and/or small dailies that aren't notoriously cheap?

    When I started at my place, they said they'd pay me a little more than what another place interviewed me was offering as the starting price.
    That was a lie.

    Then there's the tools of the trade that I'm fortunate enough to use.
    One would think that in order to sell a quality product, as in, newspapers, a company would invest in decent equipment such as cameras, computers, design programs, keyboards etc.
    Yeah, that's a pipe dream at this lovely place.
    My keyboard, of all things, my keyboard is in such tough shape that I'm becoming fluent in knowing when I need to unplug and replug it in so I can continue typing.
    We also have to be one of the last shops in the country to be using Pagemaker to design our lovely pages.

    Then the mileage also leaves a lot to be desired.
    I'm getting paid less than 9 cents on the gallon. Which, is better than nothing, but it's the cheapest amount of mileage they could give.
    When I travel, which I'm required come playoff time, my editor asks me if I have friends in the area to stay with because surprise, they won't pay for a hotel.

    Is this the norm?
    Should I expect work for this type of business as I continue my career?

    There's gotta be some places that aren't AS cheap, but are those places becoming the minority?
  2. Seriously, dude. As I said to you on another thread (which you may not have seen) -- either sack up, get a new job or find a new profession. Coming on here and bitching every 10 days or so about every little thing isn't going to change anything. All it's going to do is give you an ulcer.
  3. Brain of J

    Brain of J Member

    I'm not bitching...well maybe I am. But I'm also asking what to expect as I continue on..

    It probably has given me an ulcer....But if I know to expect the same treatment in the future it might help me deal with it.
  4. It depends on whether you have any talent, or at least the potential to acquire some. If you do, you'll move up in this business to better papers where things like this don't occur. If you don't, you won't. It's that simple.
  5. Brain of J

    Brain of J Member

    Well OK.
    How much of it is talent and how much of it is good fortune?
    What about bigger papers that are cheap, how do you know which ones are and which ones aren't?
    I'm listening to what you're saying.
    People, editors in particular notice talent. Your clips and your attitude will transcend the situation you're in.
    If you're a stud you're not going to let computer software or a lousy camera to keep you from moving on.
  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Moving on also has a lot to do with connections/networking.
  7. Yeah, and your attitude sucks. Do you really think Big City Daily wants to hire the guy who comes on SportsJournalists.com twice a week bitching about how much his shop sucks? Or the guy who's getting called out by local parents for being shockingly bad at his job?

    News flash: newspapers are cheap. Most of them will cut costs wherever they can. Get used to it. If you're this new to the business and already this bitter and angry, I suggest you start looking for a new profession.
  8. I wouldn't say that -- at least not as a concrete rule. I started as SE of a weekly chain, and moved on to a 16K daily then moved to a 40K about six months later. And I had no connections and no internships. Fortunately, now I do have connections, which will help my next move.

    But you don't always have to know someone to move up in this business.
  9. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Good point. I should have rephrased that to say I think it is easier to move up in this business with networking and connections and the obvious talent.
    Though sometimes I question the talent at bigger papers and wonder what connections that person had to get that job.

    And, Bob Loblaw Law Blog, thank you. I was wondering if I was the only one getting tired of the questions. Keep coming here and posting Brain of J, but quit with the bitching non-stop threads about your paper on this board.
    If you want to ask questions about these kinds of things, maybe just PM a couple of posters.
  10. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member


    And I would add that it's probably not wise to complain about every little thing here. Your situation is far from unique, unfortunately. Yet it likely would not be a pleasant scenario if your bosses discovered your thoughts here.
  11. Seriously. This doesn't sound like the greatest shop in the world, but I'm sure there are plenty of other weeklies like it.

    Plus what happens if Brain of J's higher-ups ever clue in to his constant posting? If I were his SE or ME and I read this shit he posts here, I wouldn't be too happy.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I'm wondering if you're saying half as much in the office as you do on here, Brain.

    If the shop promised you more money, you should have discovered that on your first payday and been in someone's ear.
    If the keyboard sucks, buy your own and turn in the receipt. If the new keyboard blows up your computer, tell the bosses tough shit, you needed a better workstation already.
    If your boss wants you to stay with friends on the road, tell them your Rolodex is not his Holiday Inn and that you're not traveling without accommodations, period.

    Sounds to me like you want out one way or another. At least go down swinging. Then come back and share the stories. You'll find more support here after sticking up for yourself.
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