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Sports reporter, News-Register, McMinnville, Ore.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Johnny Dangerously, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    The News-Register, a twice-weekly serving Oregon's picturesque wine country, is looking for someone to fill the No. 2 spot on its two-person sports staff. Emphasis is on preps and Linfield College — the latter has a national reputation for athletics excellence in Division III — and helping put out the section (NewsEditPro IQue, Adobe InDesign CS2, Mac). Reporting and editing skills are essential, pagination and web skills highly desirable. We're looking for someone with a solid grounding in sports, preferably accompanied by a four-year degree in journalism. If you are interested in joining a news staff of 18 in a great location, mail a cover letter, résumé, selection of your five best and most diverse clips and a set of references to Carl Dubois, Sports Editor, News-Register, P.O. Box 727, McMinnville, OR 97128, or e-mail same to cdubois@newsregister.com.

    Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah …

    OK, let’s really talk. Remember the scene in “The Paper” when Spalding Gray big-times Michael Keaton during a job interview? “We’re The Sentinel,” Gray says. “We cover the world.” You do? Well, guess bleeping what? I don’t really bleeping care. You wanna know bleeping why? Because I don’t bleeping live in the bleeping world! I live in bleeping Yamhill County!

    We don’t cover the world, but if you don’t feel in your bones that our readers deserve their world covered with the same zeal, respect, fairness, accuracy, ethics and attention to detail you’d give a big-city beat, then we’re probably not meant for each other. The sports editor covered an SEC beat for 11 years and has bylines from BCS national championship games, NLCS, Super Bowls, Final Fours and more, but he gets more one-on-one time with subjects here in the Willamette Valley than he did since leaving his first newspaper job more than a decade ago. The corporate-type roadblocks increasingly placed in your way on high-profile beats are not found here.

    You might, at a prep game, have to dodge kids roughhousing on the track while you try to walk, watch and take notes at the same time. You might need to invest in Rite in the Rain notebooks (this is the Pacific Northwest). You might park between a 1970 Chevy truck that hasn’t left the county and a Jaguar visiting from Portland, and we want you to tell stories both owners would enjoy reading.

    Don’t expect to cover Oregon, Oregon State or Portland pro sports. Except for those rare occasions when we know we should localize something going on outside the county, we focus on what’s going on in McMinnville and nearby towns. We know we can’t compete with the Oregonian on the big-ticket items, so we don’t pretend. There is plenty here to keep you busy — and to help you stretch as a journalist, a reporter, and as a writer. The McMinnville High School football team made national news in August, and long after visiting reporters left to chase something else, we’re still here, boots on the ground, keeping watch and listening.

    Your friends and family won’t read every word you write, not unless they subscribe or you cut and mail your clips. We’ll post a portion of your best stories online, with a tagline referring Web readers to the print edition for more, but we’re not reproducing each issue on the Internet. We want people to buy our newspaper. We want you to help us make them realize they’re missing something if they don’t.

    That doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the Web. We’ve got big plans for a new approach to New Media, and we want your input and help there too. If you have experience with platforms that will help us tell stories — with audio, video and social-media networks — that’s a plus. Applicants with experience and interest in photography, video, design, blogging, podcasts, graphic arts and/or any other forms of newsgathering and storytelling will get our attention.

    Are we asking a great deal for an entry-level position with entry-level pay? Hoping. That’s a better word. The person who gets this job will move to the front of the line with either a respectable foundation in several areas or an eye-opening passion and facility with one or two. We’re long-range thinkers, not looking for a quick fix, so we’re willing to help you get better in areas where you need more development. By the same token, if you have stars in your eyes and expect to be covering the Mariners on Opening Day 2011 after cashing a few checks here, please don’t waste your time and ours. If you don’t see the value in doing solid work at a community newspaper, please allow us to spend our time evaluating candidates who do.

    The beaches of the Oregon Coast and the Pacific Ocean are an hour away. So is Portland, on a good day. If you love wine, you're in heaven here. They tell me the pinot noir of the Willamette Valley is better than that in the Napa Valley. Oh, and did I mention we pay people to pump your gas for you? In fact, it's illegal for you to try to do it yourself, so please, stay in your car and let the professionals handle it.

    The reporter who’s leaving has been here for about 15 months. The day she leaves to go back to her home state to be closer to friends and family, the sports editor will represent the entirety of institutional knowledge in the department — with exactly three months on the job. That means we’ll have a lot of context to discover together, but it also means you have a chance to take this position and, to a great extent, make of it what you want.

    We’ll work hard, I promise. We’ll have fun too. If you’re dependable and productive, you will have some leeway with your schedule. We won’t try to fix what’s not broken, so get the work done and build a line of credit that allows you an increasing share of ownership in the section. If you respect the trust placed in you and carry your share of the load, you’ll never have to deal with some of the more restrictive workplace policies that stifle a lot of energetic journalists. This week’s staff meeting might be in a coffee shop in historic downtown McMinnville. Next week’s might be at the ice cream shop. The next might be while we walk up and down Third Street and burn off some of the calories from the previous meeting. The benefits of fresh air are not lost on the sports editor, who would like to point out he’s never seen news happen in the office, so he’s unconvinced you should be chained to your desk.

    The sports editor has been in the business since before some of you were born, and he can teach you things you need to know. He’s also open-minded enough to know you have a lot you can teach him. If you’re still reading and hungry for an entry-level job with the opportunity to make it so much more than that, send in your stuff. No phone calls, please. The two-person staff is about to become a one-man shop in the interim, and there’s still a paper to put out twice a week.

    This is a family-owned paper in a town with people who still buy and read the paper. We've got a fighting chance if we give them something to read. Can you help with that? Let's see what you've got. There's no deadline, but the clock is ticking.


    Feel free to send a PM to Johnny Dangerously, but he’s pretty busy these days too, so don’t take it personally if it takes several hours or a day or two for a reply.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Do it. NOW.
    Great opportunity.

    Moddy Seal.

    I love a newspaper that takes pride in its, you know, newspaper. I love a newspaper that makes me, you know, read the newspaper.

    Do it. NOW.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Dude does things the right way, and since you're likely seeking a newspaper job instead of a basketball job, seeking Carl out is better than seeking out Larry Brown.

    That Dangerously guy, however....watch out for him, he's a pistol.
  4. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    if i was 25 years younger and didn't mind the rain, i'd be all over this one.
  5. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    There's a method to the madness with the no-deadline thing, but there is also a sense of urgency at play here. The reporter to be replaced has given notice of Nov. 19 or 20 as her last day on the job. It's unrealistic to expect the process to move fast enough for the next reporter to have Thanksgiving in McMinnville, but stranger things have happened.

    Serious candidates should know the News-Register will probably have a pretty good idea by then who will get the job, if it hasn't already been offered. Expect things to move quickly, but without any obligation to be enslaved by an arbitrary deadline. If you wait until the last week of October to send in your stuff, it's going to have to make a big impression. If you wait until November, it's probably going to be too late.
  6. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That is a great ad.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Now THAT is how to list a job.
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    You had me at wine.

    Seriously, anyone would be lucky to get this gig.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    It might be poor form for me to say this, but Lugnuts is right.

    Wine gets her every time.
  10. Does anyone know what the circulation is for the N-R?
  11. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    You'd be working with good people (or at least a good person, as the staff is not big enough to have "people"). And it's pretty country.
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Nice stretch of the Northwest -- McMinville has a cute downtown, wine country around it and access to interesting coastal towns. Don't call it the beach, though (you'll be wearing sweatshirts much of the year), and avoid carnyish Seaside. Linfield competes at the we-have-money level of D3 (I know this world well). It's not cheap here, and amenities of a substantial town are not close. Solid opportunitity for a first or second gig.
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