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Sports/Outdoors Reporter at The Dickinson Press

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by dm19, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. dm19

    dm19 Member

    Hey everybody,
    I'm the Sports Editor at The Dickinson Press we have an opening for our Sports/Outdoors Reporter position. Now, I must inform you that we recently filled this position. However, the reporter who filled it -- and has done a damn fine job in my mind -- has made a very difficult decision to move closer to home because of personal reasons and is leaving us under good terms. So, as of today, the position has reopened. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have on this position. This is a very busy time of year and, of course, we are looking to move forward as quickly as possible. Here's the ad:

    The Dickinson (N.D.) Press has an immediate opening for a Sports/Outdoors Reporter to complete a two-person sports department complimented by part-timers. The Press is a six-day AM (no Monday newspaper) with a 7,200 print circulation and a growing Web base.

    We cover an exciting prep scene that is stronger than one might imagine and Dickinson State University, a highly regarded NAIA program. The reporter focuses on the prep beat (two high schools in town and about a dozen in the surrounding area) during the fall, winter and spring and shares coverage of three beats during the summer months: an American Legion baseball club that recently won two consecutive state championships, professional and amateur rodeo, and the local auto racing scene. The summer also brings opportunities to cover golf, recreational sports and an annual high school football all-star game between North Dakota and Montana.

    The position also requires reporting and layout for a two-page Outdoors section published on Thursday's.

    The ideal candidate will be a self-starter able to come up with and produce a strong balance of features, columns and enterprises stories alongside typical game recaps and previews while maintaining a blog and helping institute any other new ideas he or she may have. Knowledge of page design is essential to this position and we take our own photographs, so experience in those fields is helpful, though we will train the right person.

    We are looking for someone with at least two years of journalism experience, but strong recent journalism school graduates will receive serious consideration.
    If you are interested in the position, please send a cover letter, resume and no more than six clips writing and/or design samples to Managing Editor Jennifer McBride at jmcbride@thedickinsonpress.com.
  2. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    It's 50s to 60s now but snow is possible this weekend. Why anyone decided to settle here I don't know.
  3. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    Didn't have enough oxen to ford the next river?
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Having worked in the upper midwest before, there's nothing wrong with this -- especially for someone looking to get experience.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Make the employer promise to find you a place to live before you move up. Otherwise, what slappy said.
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Here's are the last two threads on opening here:

    http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/81382/ (When I left)

    http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/73030/ (This was a non-existent opening)
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    There is a reason four reporters, including myself, have left in the past year.

    Besides the sports reporter leaving after less than two months, the paper's copy editor quit after two months on the job as well.

    I know the situation puts the SE in a tight spot as he'll work six days a week until a replacement is found, but the next hire shouldn't arrive only to immediately look to move on.
  8. OnTheWire

    OnTheWire New Member

    Tough go for the sports editor. Plenty of stuff to cover in Dickie.

    Here are a few curmudgeonly observations/indulgences and hope they will at least lighten the day for the SE, who has to be busier than heck when his writer leaves:

    --I was lucky to find a place there for my first job during a previous oil boom ... right across the street from then DSC, which was not long removed from being the Savages. Landlord wasn't crooked but was plenty cheap and insisted on fixing the heater in my apartment herself. Ran a little too much gas and blew her 70-year-old bony butt across the living room.
    --There used to be an apartment upstairs at the Press building. (It was a rat hole in the '70s.)
    --We were crazy and/or stupid ambitious in those days. Sometimes we had a stringer and sometimes not, but we covered about a quarter of the state and maybe took boxes from 35-40 games on a busy night. From Lemon, S.D., up to Watford City and Newtown, over to eastern Montana and down to Fort Yates. It was silly ... basically we didn't know better. This was with a typewriter that I'm sure now would fetch plenty as an antique. We also "rolled tape" for wire copy, which I rolled backwards my first night on the job.
    --The day I was hired the ME took me out for dinner and he ran into a bunch of old drinking buddies who talked about his days before rehab. His wife was a Bigfoot hunter.
    --A minor upside of the previous boom was that a lot of the oil guys would roll dice against the bartender at the Shamrock (next door to the Press) and often would bet drinks for the house. Downside, cop shop was right across the street.

    I still check the website from time to time and it looks like the SE knows what he's doing and this would still be a great spot to cut your teeth. That said, Stitch's point about the other turnover there means do your research ... as you should with any job.
  9. Charlie_Hustle

    Charlie_Hustle New Member

    This probably would have been right up my alley a few years ago, and it sounds like a beat that — at least for an outdoors-minded person — has the potential to be a fun gig for about two years. At the same time, I have no knowledge of the situation there, but Stitch's comments would give me reason to pause if I were going to submit a resume.

    Best of luck to the SE. Sounds like a tough situation at the moment.
  10. dm19

    dm19 Member

    @On The Wire - When I get a little nostalgic, I wish we were still in that old Cracker Jack box of a building instead of the nice new one we call our digs now. The staff at the Rock and I would likely be much better friends.

    As for the turnover at the newspaper, I can tell you that it's not because we don't pay well. For a paper our size, the pay is about as good as it gets. I've turned down jobs at larger newspapers almost entirely because of the pay. Also, the turnover really isn't worse than what I've seen in my five years here. Our previous ME went through a stint where it was him, one news reporter and the two sports guys. They survived.

    Also, I'll tell you that I like to give the sports/outdoors reporter a pretty loose leash once they begin falling into a groove and gain an understanding of the beats. A great sports editor once told me that he wanted his reporters to act as the editor of their beats. He wanted them making the call on what games to cover, what stories to report, etc. I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. I want a reporter who, one or two years down the line, I can answer a reference call from a sports editor at a larger newspaper and give that person a rave review of our reporter so he or she can move on to bigger and better things.
  11. peacer84

    peacer84 Member

    I wouldn't worry about Stitch. If you look at his threads, he doesn't have anything positive to say about this industry, period.
    I did this job awhile back and was one of the ones that left. I was actually there 2.5 years figuring in part-time work.

    Good community
    Solid athletics
    Pays very well for a paper its size.
    Sports Editor goes to bat for you as long as you pull your weight
    Absolutely fantastic camera equipment (you won't find a paper this size having this kind of equipment anywhere).
    Company has good benefits which include getting your birthday off

    Finding a place to live will be difficult, but it is doable. You will likely have to stay in a motel for a little while.
    Company that owns this paper doesn't give much of a hoot for these size of papers, so getting help or getting anyone to listen at corporate for anything can be a problem.
    Taking vacation can be a struggle as there's only two of you, so when one is gone for a week or so, then the other ends up working a lot of days, which is definitely manageable but can get tiring (for both the SE and you).

    This is a great starting off point for graduates. As I stated before, many newspapers of this size aren't paying what this place pays.

    I'd like to add that two of the previous reporters (myself included) are from the Midwest. I can't speak for the other candidate, but I got a chance to live a half hour from home and I took it. I would imagine the current reporter is thinking the same thing. It sucks to only be at a job for a short time, but when you get a chance to make the same money or more 30 mins way from home, it's hard to pass up.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    You have to wonder how much time the SE will take off once the new hire gets his or her feet wet. The SE has worked close to two months by himself so far this year. Working six days per week can't be fun. To be honest, he would have had to work a month alone anyway because I would have used up all of my vacation time with the birth of my daughter.

    BTW, I'm not that bitter. I reluctantly turned down a full-time reporting job for various reasons. I still enjoy covering games a few times per week as a freelancer for a non-Patch hyperlocal website ,and get to see my wife and kids.
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