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Shortest stint at a paper?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by rgd, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    I think this is a good question, and one I don't have the answer to.
  2. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    While there are plenty of dickheads who work in other fields.

    In my previous job where I lasted just a scant three months, most of the other staff knew I was going to be fired the day before I actually was terminated. I go to leave for the day and my boss asks for my laptop because she needed to work on something from home. No big deal, I thought.

    Then I get to work the next day, and my boss isn't there and neither is my laptop. Everyone is avoiding me like the plague. I had a feeling something was up, so I had to get on another person's computer and transfer a lot of my files to my gmail account. Then at 4:30, just as I was getting ready to leave, the second-in-command pulls me into the conference room with the HR director.
  3. el penguino

    el penguino New Member

    I'll second the "what questions should we ask?" post. I'm inclined now, after a year at an eminently mediocre place, to ask something along the lines of "how can you prove to me you're committed to good journalism?"... "What are the editing/production processes like there?" ... "How do you work to mentor young reporters?" ... "What is the mission of the paper and what systems are in place to ensure it gets there at least most of the time?"

    How would that sort of approach strike some of you with more experience than I?
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I think your first question is over the top. They don't have to prove anything to you. I would ask what the publisher's commitment to good journalism. How is that demonstrated? (staffing, travel, equipment, newshole, training, perhaps awards, etc., etc.)

    Second is great. Third is great.

    Fourth is meaningless words on paper. Wouldn't press that.
  5. NoOneYouKnow

    NoOneYouKnow Member

    I was at my first job for five months -- a Gannett paper (which should tell you something).

    Shortly after I got there, the job, which was supposed to be a semi-pro beat job during the season and general reporter offseason, began to change. Less beat coverage and more preps.

    So, after five months, I get a call out of the blue to apply for a sports editor opening at a paper about an hour away. I go interview, get the job, and am just yippy skippy about it. Within five months being out of school, I've gotten an SE gig at a 35K paper. Not bad, right?

    Well, I go back to my current employer and tell them the "great" news. Immediately, my schedule is changed to working 14 straight days on the desk, and am told that they'll never hire another person from the college I went to (about three weeks earlier, another school grad of mine left for a different competing paper).

    Nice, eh?
  6. I was at a five-day daily for just six weeks once before moving on. The reason: a bigger newspaper came calling that had an opening, and it was a much better opportunity. The move paid off, and I spent some good time with great people.
  7. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    someone very close to me was at a paper for for exactly one day. she'd interviewed at major metro and small suburban metro. the latter offered her a job and gave her a start date. major metro was dragging their feet. she even called major metro and told the hiring editor her start date at small suburban metro.

    turns out that the hiring editor, who would be her 'team leader' liked to play tricks on people. so he calls up my friend on her first day of work (which was a monday) at small suburban metro. she answers the phone. she's shocked to hear his voice and wondering why he's calling her at small suburban metro. he's all coy. he says, 'how's your first day going at [small suburban metro]?' she says it's going fine. he says, 'how'd you like your first day to be your last day?' that was the job offer.

    this happened at about 4 p.m. she still had to finish a story for the next day and couldn't leave until 6. she says it was the longest two hours of her life. they never paid her for the day she worked.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's pretty crappy. So how long did she last at the major metro?
  9. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    six years, then onto an even bigger metro. once she started, the editor stopped fucking with her. (and the editor who hired her at major metro went on to be ME at a smaller paper, from which he was eventually fired in a mysterious scandal).
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Good. Joking with people over their livelihood and making light of situations where people have to go back on at least their implied word is BS.
  11. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    ace, you got that right. karma is a bitch. in all fairness, he treated her OK once he was hired, and wasn't a bad guy. he was just way too focused on corporate bullshit to bother doing any real editing.
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    I was at a weekly for a month while working part-time at a daily (different area ... lots of driving). I quit when I got on full-time at the daily and never put the weekly on my resume. Years later, my then big daily bought that weekly and turned it into a bureau of the daily.
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