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Sports writer needed in Northwest Illinois

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Focus of NW IL, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Focus of NW IL

    Focus of NW IL New Member

    The Focus of Northwest Illinois, located in wonderful Freeport, is searching for an experienced full-time sports writer to complete its award-winning staff.

    Coverage mostly centers on small-town prep sports, but also a column two days per week and a community college that has reached the men’s basketball national tournament four times in the last five years. Coverage responsibilities would also include Chicago or Wisconsin professional sports on weekends, i.e. the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

    We are a former-weekly, five-day-per-week daily paper with a 5,000 circ. and have no elements set in stone. There’s freedom galore. We are looking for a creative person with an uncanny work drive and desire to serve a community hungry for sports news.

    Successful candidates have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field, daily newspaper experience and the ability to balance priorities. Must have accurate sense of what makes small communities special, and candidates will be expected to immerse themselves in the daily life of their coverage area. Nights and weekend work are necessary, but freedom and rewards are limitless.

    Knowledge of AP Style, Mac computers, page design skills and Adobe Creative Suites, including InDesign, InCopy and Photoshop, are a must. Experience in sports copy editing would be a plus.

    Salary negotiable. Health benefits through Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Illinois.

    Our company recently earned seven Illinois Press Association Awards, including the Verle V. Kramer Memorial Award for overall excellence.

    Freeport is located two hours west of Chicago and two hours southwest of Milwaukee.

    To apply, email a cover letter, resume and writing samples to sports editor Scott McNeish at mcneishs@focusnewspapers.com. Please list a start date, as we want to fill the position as quickly as possible.
  2. how long has the paper been a daily?

    i believe there already is a daily in town.
  3. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    I believe this is the first time wonderful has ever been in the same sentence as Freeport.
  4. Scouter

    Scouter Member

    Home of the Pretzels.
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Focus of NW IL could you direct us to your site? Perhaps I'm failing with teh google, but I couldn't find one.
  6. Focus of NW IL

    Focus of NW IL New Member

    Hi guys,

    Our paper was an award-winning weekly for five years, and we have been a daily for four months. I left a Major League Baseball beat to become part of this special opportunity. To answer your question, yes, there is another daily newspaper in town, but readers prefer our personality, style and expansive coverage. They have to follow the protocol of GateHouse Media (whose stock has slipped to under 30 cents per share). We don't follow anyone. We do what we want and create on the fly. The possibilities are endless.

    Also, you will find nothing on the Web, because our website is still in development, but will be up soon.
  7. what's the newshole like?

    how big is the staff? how many schools do you cover?

    staff photog? or do reporters have to shoot their own stuff?

    i think anyone in here will be skittish about joining a start-up during these tough times. it's also a tremendous opportunity, too.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Did we also work together once upon a time? Is your old boss here bigger than a bread box if you're looking from the side?

    NQLBLQ Member

    Say, for example, someone was a recent graduate who worked at a college paper for a few years and maybe won an award or two. Would this be an opportunity for that person to start a career, or is this a paper that is looking more for a seasoned vet to step in and shine?

    Hypothetically speaking of course...
  10. Focus of NW IL

    Focus of NW IL New Member

    I'll try to answer all your questions.

    First, full-time staff includes 25 people, plus a handful of part-timers, stringers and interns. The sports department will be a two-man, with the possibility for a third if we can find the right candidates.

    The Focus has 12 high schools and one community college in its coverage area. There is always something going on, whether it's a community college basketball player comitting to a Division I school, or a star running back bouncing back from injury or a quarterback from a no-name school getting looks from big-time colleges.

    This is a perfect job for someone starting their career. You'll get a taste of the most competitve sports area in the state, write a column, plus an opportunity to cover professional sports when all other tasks have been accomplished. It's a five-day-per-week daily, so that means weekends are optional, since weekend news becomes old by Tuesday. I've used them to attend Bears and Packers games or Bulls training camp.
  11. Cubbie Blue

    Cubbie Blue New Member

    What's the pay for this job? And is the paper's circulation growing or is it steady?
  12. I was in serious talks with the "other" paper in Freeport to be their sports editor about a year and a half ago. I was all set to travel the long distance to speak with their editor, but literally at the last minute they called and said they were putting the search on hold. At least I hadn't left my house yet before they called.

    It will be interesting to see how this paper grows.
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