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Typical work week

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Apex, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Apex

    Apex Member

    It's been awhile since I've posted, but I've been around. Just an update for anyone who's interested: I've graduated HS and am headed to college in the fall. I've begun work on the campus newspaper over the summer, and look forward to officially entering the J-school hopefully for the spring semester.

    To get to the point: there's been one question about the newspaper business that I haven't been able to find the answer to: What is a typical work week like for a reporter? I know that weekend work is not unusual, but does that mean you get days off during the week in lieu of the Saturday and Sunday? Is there a difference in this regard between news and sports?

    It seems like a stupid question to me, but it's something I've wondered about.
  2. bdh02

    bdh02 Member

    He lost me at "typical work week."
  3. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Great thread on this about a month ago.
  4. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    In news, you typically, but not always work a 9-5 shift, Monday through Friday, Tuesday through Saturday or Sunday through Thursday. In sports, you better be available at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m., 12 a.m., 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm dead serious.
  5. Apex

    Apex Member

    I realize that schedules can vary drastically. What I am looking for is a look into the business of newspaper reporting, how the job fits into the rest of your life. How does time off work? Do you have to work late every night, or do shifts of that nature rotate? Just stuff like that.
  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I'll attempt a serious answer:
    I've been a preps reporter for my four years in the business.
    At my first shop, I worked generally a swing shift like 3-11 or 4-12 from Tuesday to Saturday.
    At my present shop, it varies a lot more. During the summer months I may get day shifts and that sort of thing. Part of it depends on your boss and whether he will hook you up with an occasional day shift during the summer because of what is coming during the season.
    In the school year, you better get ready to work night and day. That is just life. If you don't cover a professional beat, most likely you won't work Sundays, unless you are on desk.
    Hope that helps.
  7. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    I'm on the news side. I don't think we have a single person who is coming in at 9 a.m. and not one of us is able to leave at 5 p.m. I rarely get home before 7 p.m. and usually it's 8 or 9. I work on a rotation for weekends, but am basically on call the entire day. I work the cops beat and if crime happens, dammit, I better be there. I have to keep my phone on at all times, no matter what. If my phone is off, there is someone knocking on my door asking me where I am. I haven't worked in sports writing, but in sports radio, I had a much more structured time. I know sports journalism is less structured than radio. I can tell you from experience the news side can be hell. It can be one of the most amazing jobs in the world, and I consider my job one of the most amazing, but it can be hell when someone gets shot at 3 a.m. and your phone rings and it's the PIO telling you to get your butt to the crime scene. I'm not really in a sugar-coating mood tonight. Just thought I'd tell you like it is if you end up on the news side. It really depends on the beat, but no one in my newsroom leaves any earlier than 6:30 p.m. and most don't leave until much later than I leave. I get off relatively early for my newsroom, though, but any given evening could bring a midnight or later call for me.
  8. Jim Halpert

    Jim Halpert Member

    I recently (about a month ago) started at my first full-time gig out of college. 3 guys on the sports staff, paper is published M-F and we all work 4-midnight, Sunday-Thursday. Since I started, however, I don't think I've had a true weekend, as there has always been at least one thing I had to cover on Friday or Saturday. Still feels like "off" time, since I don't have to go into the office, just to the event and home, but its still work. Honestly, it's better than just sitting in my apartment with nothing to do as the new guy in a new town, but I seem to think that feeling will wear off sooner rather than later.
  9. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    I'll give you the typical five-man sports staff community daily take:

    The SE works 60 hours per week and works almost every day. He chooses this path, but from what I've seen in past SEs, this is typical.

    The assistant sports editor puts in his 45 hours. His hours vary. He is working all weekend, but usually has his choice of Saturday or Sunday off. He is married, but readily admits that he does not have any true friends due to the crazy hours he works.

    I need to pick up a second job to pay the bills, but it is difficult to do because Sunday is the only concrete day I have off. Saturdays usually turn into 10-hour days, unless I am covering a college or pro event. Then it's more.

    I would strongly encourage you to consider an alternative career path unless you are absolutely hell bent into getting into journalism.
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    That's advice that is always in fashion.
  11. House

    House Guest

    Guess it depends on where you work.

    I'm paid to work 40 hours per week. My schedule is Tuesday through Saturday, 3 p.m. to midnight with a one-hour dinner.

    Interesting claims about unpaid overtime has left management a bit ... nervous about our work hours. No overtime, especially no unpaid overtime and no exception.
  12. PTOWN

    PTOWN Member

    Since some of you have taken to scaring the shit out of this kid I'll say that as a preps writer, which is the most likely route for this young man unless he's stud, is fairly demanding. Depending on what state you end up in, and how indepth your future paper goes after preps, your looking at a season that starts in August and ends in early July. High School sports have this ability to stretch into summer with all-star games and the like. Yes, many in this business become jaded. But in my expereince there's a lot worse places to be than on a sports desk. Yeah, your going to work 40-60 hours and make shit money and not get a pat on the back for it. But for me there's little more satisfying than producing a solid feature or enterprise piece. Yes the grind of a beat writer sucks sometimes, and you'll likely hate the first job your at some or most of the time. But I think it's worth it. What the hell do I know, I'm just a newbie.
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