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Switching from sports to news

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sunshine Scooter, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. So I've been pondering applying for jobs either on the news side for both reporting and writing for large papers, but I'm hesitant to make the jump to that side for fear of not being able to get back into sports. Is there anyone out there who's made that switch who could offer some advice? What was it like? Were you able to switch back later on? If so, how difficult was it?

    I have a solid background in design and writing, but mostly in sports. I only dabbled in news at the college paper, which was a daily, but still a college paper.

    I've only been in the biz about 3-4 years, but it's been so hard to break in at a large paper. I figure if maybe I could on the news side, I could switch over to sports from within.

    Plus I'm getting fed up with my shop, and I think it's just time for a change. Any help is welcome and I'll fetch beers when necessary.
  2. TX Writer

    TX Writer Member

    Reporting is reporting. I did a stint with news simply because they needed help, and I learned a lot. News reporting is more factual and generic, but you learn more about formatting and saving space and being concise and punctual. Not that you don't do that on the sports side, but it's more emphasized in news.
  3. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    Do it. You won't regret it.

    Don't worry about getting back into sports. By not getting experience outside of sports, you are doing far more to limit your career development.
  4. Even from the design side, too?
  5. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    Don't do it. Don't give in to the dark side of the force, young Skywalker.
  6. I agree with PhiNJ, it would make you more valuable in a sense and I don't think you'll have any problem swtiching back or even doing sports stories while you write news.

    I'm a news guy and I've been asked several times to write sports stories or sports oriented stories because I know what I'm talking about. Hell, I didn't know much of anything about NASCAR but I got to write a bunch of stories when Dale Earnhardt died and learned a lot by talking to Pearson and some of the older drivers who drove with him.

    Any idea what type of news you would like?

    If you cover cops or courts, you'll find yourself writing a lot of stories about athletes. ;)
  7. Do it. I wish someone would have made me.

    If you don't know them already, learning the basics of how to search court records and police reports, filing FOIAs and similar items will be valuable for your career. Too many sports reporters don't know these things. They should.
  8. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    The more well-rounded you are, the more marketable you'll be when (if) you decide to jump back to sports.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Let me echo the advice of PHINJ. Getting a background in news is going to make you valuable when you apply for other jobs down the line. You'll have clips from both that you can present.

    I definitely want to be a sportswriter for a daily somewhere down the line, but I love the fact that I'm also getting experience writing about crime, politics and features right now in addition to the sportswriting and the opinion columns I've been writing.
  10. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

  11. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    From my experience, being able to do (and having done) both makes you a valuable commodity when it comes to the editing side.
  12. jobless journo

    jobless journo New Member

    I did it some 20 years ago with absolutely no regrets. I love sports and still freelance and string when I can. On the news side, you're constantly meeting new people with different insights and personalities, which can be a refreshing change from a cliche-a-second speak you tend to get from coaches and ADs.
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