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Updating the clip file

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I'm getting ready to do the annual update of my clip file and was wondering...how recent should your clips be? Is it better to have only recent stuff (the last year or so)? Or does it matter as long as it's good? There's some older stuff I like and would hate to throw away.
    Also, what's the acceptable number to send along if it's not specified? 10 or 15? Less?
  2. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Batman - I'm doing the same. One of my summer projects. Got a bunch of stuff from this previous year I need to get to.

    I generally think it doesn't matter how recent my work is. If it kicks ass, it kicks ass. But I generally try to keep outdoing previous stuff.

    Oh, I've had numerous people tell me not to send more than 10 clips if I ever applied somewhere.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    10 is plenty. Send your best stuff.

    Eyebrows would raise if everything is 5 years old, but I wouldn't throw out a great story from 2 years ago in favor of a slightly less great story from last month.

    Oh, and you want a mixture. Features, news, enterprise, beat coverage, gamers. Not 10 game stories or 10 advances.
  4. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    10 would be the max and even then, an editor isn't guaranteed to check out all of them. 8-10, and yes, diversity in what you have is definitely the way to go.
  5. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    I wouldn't send more than five to seven, but that's me. Diversity is the key, but if you've only got one column and it wasn't that hot, don't toss a good feature out to include it. And Ace is right...if your best clip is 10 years old, send it. Just make sure you have a few things written in the past six months.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I've always gone for about a dozen -- three gamers, three features, three news stories and a couple of miscellaneous.
  7. I send out like 1,200 clips

    I figure there's gotta be something decent in there
  8. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    My philosophy is 10 clips. Use a variety.

    Most of your 10 clips should be within the past 24 months.

    But if you have one or two stories that really define you -- stuff you think is the best work of your career -- I think you should include it, even if it's 7 or 8 years old.
  9. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    It's been a practice of mine to not just have a variety, but I firmly believe you have to tailor each packet to the job you're inquiring about. Truthfully, I'm not sure what sending a column will do for your chances if you're applying for a GA/Preps job. If I'm applying for a beat, I might send two clips that show how I broke a story and followed it the next week. If it's a preps job, I'm not going to send my notebook from spring training, etc.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    batman - if you send to me, send six ... two features, two columns, a gamer and an enterprise piece. make sure they're dated within the past year. if i want more i will ask.

    i attempt to 'thin down the herd' to about 25 through cover letters and resumes. i absolutely have zero interest in reading 250 pieces (or more) before i narrow the field to five. to be honest, usually, only two or three stand out and make a serious impression.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    10 clips? Only if they're asked for. Five clips is sufficient. Anymore and I start to doze.
  12. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I can say this -- be careful about sending out too many. Editors' time is valuable. Most aren't going to read 12 stories. The thought is if they have to read 12 stories to tell if you're good, then you aren't that good. Now, I also think it's pretty easy for most people to find six good clips. If you don't have six good clips, you shouldn't be in this business. But I have heard of some editors that will just toss aside resumes and clips if there's too much there.

    Also, when I was doing writing stuff, I'd try to keep most of my stuff within the last year. I had some enterprise stuff that was older, but mostly within the year so the editor could see where I was as a writer now as opposed to where I was a 15 months ago. Tried to spread it out some, too. Show that I didn't just do my best work in football season and then fall off.
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