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Some advice please

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MadDog2020Terp, May 6, 2007.

  1. MadDog2020Terp

    MadDog2020Terp New Member

    OK, here's my situation, any advice on what I should do is appreciated:

    I'm at my first job after college at a 12k daily in Indiana.

    Typically, there is a two-person staff for sports, the sports editor and the reporter. Two days a week, I would run the section on the editor's days off.

    About a month ago, the sports editor took a promotion to become the associate editor and someone else from the editorial board moved to sports editor. He basically had no clue what he was doing, screwed up the section and resigned after two weeks because he hated it.

    Obviously, I have had to run the section for a couple weeks now, which is OK, it's great experience actually. Initially, the managing editor told me they needed me to do this for about three weeks until they knew what they were going to do. Earlier this week, we held a staff meeting and he said they have "not been authorized" to fill the position. Then he went on about how things are going to change and people might have to do more things, like I might have to cover news stories for example.

    Yesterday, he told me they had been authorized to fill the position and he advertised it. I found the ad online and it is for a general assignment reporter, basically. Apparently, they are not hiring a sports editor and plan on sticking me with it.

    The problem is, I still don't get recognized as an editor, even though I am running a section and easily do more work than anyone in that office, and I don't get a raise either.

    I guess it's good they trust me with a section already, but I am losing my mind here. Eight hours of overtime a week is hardly worth it. I'm writing about 50 inches of copy every night, copy editing everything and coordinating the section. I'm a section editor without the recognition or pay.

    Everyone in the field I have talked to so far has told me to get out of there.

    This sucks, because this isn't some rag daily community paper. We have a proud tradition. We have won Hoosier Press Association awards for best sports section and we were a blue ribbon paper recently. It's sad the new managing editor cares so little about the sports section.

    I'm inclined to leave anyway. I'm not from here and Indiana blows. I have enough contacts in Maryland that I could probably find some stringer work for a while until I land somewhere full time.

    What do you make of this? I think they are basically using me to save money.
  2. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I'd roll. If they haven't given you even a compulsory glance to fill the spot, they're not going to. If they want haphazard sports coverage, let them hire a haphazard reporter to replace you.
  3. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    If you haven't done so already, ask the ME about it. Be frank. Ask how they could hire another reporter with there being no true SE. Ask how they view the sports structure. Ask whether you might get a raise if they say you would essentially be the defacto SE, despite not actually holding that title.

    If they think they can do that to you because you won't do anything about it, then yeah, you might want to give them something to think about. But I would ask management first before taking any actions.
  4. If you're seriously thinking about walking anyway, do what Oz said and confront them about the situation. Ask why you're doing the work of a section editor without the recognition or pay. The worst that can happen is they give you an unsatisfactory answer and you walk out the door and start packing your shit for Maryland.
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