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University of Illinois beat, Champaign

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by ShelbyFoote, Jul 26, 2006.

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  1. ShelbyFoote

    ShelbyFoote Member

    I know this is on the UK thread, but it's probably worthy of its own:

    The News-Gazette needs a talented go-getter to cover our biggest beat: Illinois men's basketball.

    Game coverage, practice reports (yes, practices are open), enterprise, Big Ten and national notebooks, Top 25 voting, tracking former players in the NBA and future players in high school ... the job ensures a front-page presence most every day.

    The News-Gazette is a family owned paper that knows how important Illinois basketball is to our readers. Interested writers should have experience covering Division I basketball and recruiting.

    Send a cover letter, resume, references, 5-10 writing samples and a list of how you'd keep an award-winning beat humming to:

    Jim Rossow
    Sports Editor
    The News-Gazette
    15 Main St.
    Champaign, IL 61820

    You may also apply via e-mail to:
  2. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    This beat is kind of weird in that's probably the least visible of the number of newspapers that have a regular beat guy assigned to Illinois. This is in large part because you must subscribe to the News-Gazette website. Off the top of my head, Tupper from Decatur and Supinie, who handles it for Copley (mainly Peoria and Springfield), are both more visible.
    But I could live with the reduced visibility if I had this job/ ;D
  3. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    Dude lists top 25 voting as a job responsibility? Now that's funny.
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I beg that the best person possible will land this job, then resist all the juvenile bullshit that somehow becomes part of the coverage.
  5. Explain?
  6. DyePack

    DyePack New Member


    Then scroll down a ways.

    "The News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois, gave us an early Thanksgiving turkey recently: Its college basketball preview section. Last year’s section was fairly well done and even featured a fairly accurate prediction of how the Illinois team would do. The N-G had Illinois losing in the championship game, which they did. The newspaper predicted the team would fall to Wake Forest and its Swiss cheese-like defense rather than North Carolina, though.

    Now a new season has started, which means lots of points for Wake Forest’s opponents, lots of Duke on ESPN and lots of Dick Vitale blathering about any school on the East Coast.

    There’s also lots of cringing in central Illinois, as this year’s N-G preview relies on a sci-fi theme and has cheesy sketches of coaches as Star Wars characters.

    This inconsistency does not come as a surprise, though. For some time, the N-G sports section has been much like the Friday night lineup on ABC: lots of attempts at humor, but very few successful ones. This approach is somewhat necessary during football season when the team wins few games, but for a basketball team that has been wildly successful under coach Bruce Weber, it’s simply an annoyance readers could do without.

    Speaking of Weber, apparently he agreed to pose as an instructor from the Harry Potter books for a full-page cutout in the section. These are the sorts of visual gimmicks I think newspapers should save for the walls of their cubicles. They add little or nothing to the content, despite what myopic page designers claim, and they use up valuable space.

    Dropped in around the Weber cutout are various handy tips from the N-G for a successful season. These are otherwise known as “Yet Another Reason Why This Cutout Fails.” If I were a successful coach with a two-year record of 63-9, I certainly would not want pathetic little tips from the local sportsters about how to win games peppered around my picture. But maybe that’s just me.

    I did skim through the tips, though, simply because they are amusing in their lack of worth. Often they are long-winded ways of saying: “Play defense.” Wake Forest may need this sort of thing, but Weber’s team doesn’t.

    Much like Steven Q. Urkle, though, the N-G tries really hard to feel included. For example, one of last season’s pages featured a huge 30-0 headline. One problem: The team lost Game No. 30."
  7. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    I would assume you're referring to the college basketball preview. The author is right. It was the most god-awful preview I've ever seen. Those drawings of the Big 10 coaches looked like the second graders I was teaching this week had done freelance work.
  8. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    The "author" is DyePack. It's his site. Some funny stuff on there, IMO.
  9. dobs23

    dobs23 New Member

    Despite Mr. DyePack's comedic stylings, this is a good job. It's a union shop, so the pay is good. Job's not a piece of cake though, you'll be expected to churn out quality stuff.

    It's a good staff to work with, too. Champaign-Urbana's a good town. You're just two hours south of Chicago and Indianapolis is only two hours to the east. St. Louis isn't very far away either, about 3 hours I believe.
  10. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I hear you can get to Indianapolis in under 90 minutes, but of course, I've never done that.

    And rumor has it there are two towns ...
  11. dobs23

    dobs23 New Member

    Pardon me, God, er DyePack.

    The bottom line is this is a good gig.
  12. DyePack

    DyePack New Member


    The thing about making it to Indy in under 90 minutes was a joke.
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