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Start at big newspaper in news or small for sports?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ATLHawksComeback, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. ATLHawksComeback

    ATLHawksComeback New Member

    Is a newspaper that is 25K significantly different than one that is 15K? I have no idea.

    Like I said, this is all hypothetical. I haven't gotten a single offer, but nobody has said no yet either.

    Thanks for all the input.
  2. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Coming out of journalism school, I was in a somewhat similar position. A lot of my friends and colleagues had me pegged as a top candidate for many of the prestigious internships and A-paper jobs, which lets me believe that I probably could have chosen that path. Instead, I love the hands-on nature of community journalism and I love sports, so I took B and have stayed on that path.

    Truthfully, I'm very happy with where I am and what I'm doing. I also think I've got a world of experience and clips you'll never get working from ground-up with one of the big guys — after all, I'm the stud beat writer on everything here. Whether that will ultimately help me break into the next job if I decide I have to go the A-route later, hard to say. I've made my bed I guess.

    That said, I think I'd strongly consider advising anyone to at least explore the A route. If the money's better and you're already fitting in well at that larger newspaper, sit on it for a few years. It certainly isn't going to hurt your writing, nor, I bet, will your interest in sports wane (unless you want it to). If you can't transition to sports there, at least you've built up the daily experience and hopefully a little cash cushion. You can use those a few years down the road to transfer to whatever makes you happy, even if that means dropping it all and starting over at a B paper.
  3. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    Guys, I'll see you in heaven (or maybe hell). I'm going to the fried chicken joint, and pile on the salt. I'm going to have the best meal of my life. I can rest in peace now. DyePack has said a compliment, and it was directed at me.
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Hate to burst your bubble, ATL, but they usually don't say no. They just don't call you.

    Not saying that's the case here, just warning you.

    As far as 25K vs. 15K, that depends on a lot of factors. Staff size (in sports), location, etc.

    EDIT: Damn it. I just wasted my 500th post on that. Hey newbie, una soda, por favor. (Don't drink cervezas anymore.)
  5. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    In case you didn't get the point: A.

    Here's why: The one skill that sets you apart in the eyes of those who hire in large paper sports departments is the ability to report. Writers are a dime a dozen. If you can break news, which you almost certainly learn to do working in a metro news department, you can do it in any section of the paper. You will not develop that skill working in the sports department of a 15k paper. You simply won't have time. Option A should be considered the fast track.

    As for the copy editor option: Previous comments to the contrary, I've never thought you become a writer by being a copy editor. Yes, there are facets of CE work that might help you as a writer, but in general you get good at writing and reporting by writing and reporting. Plus, because fewer people seem to want to be copy editors (my own perception) once you accept a position as one it becomes hard to get out of it. I'd say don't go there.

    One other side note: If sports is your passion, writing for the sports section can kill it. It could be that you'd be happier writing metro and being allowed to be a fan. Just throwing that out there.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Go with A (unless maybe it is a bureau job).

    Trust me, getting knowledge covering cops and courts, covering meetings, requesting public records and such is never a bad thing.

    When you move back to sports, the experience will most definitely come in handy.
  7. ATLHawksComeback

    ATLHawksComeback New Member

    It'll be completely for the big newspaper, not the community newspapers. However, it is covering the suburban beat I think.
  8. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    I would take a dim view of a desk candidate if they really were looking for a route to a reporting job. If that's your goal, might want to consider not mentioning that in the interview.
  9. ATLHawksComeback

    ATLHawksComeback New Member

    I decided against going to the desk. Still talking with the other newspapers, though.

    Going to take A, if I get the chance. Thanks for the help.
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