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Web clips and other questions from a newbie

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by toolsofignorance, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. I've been reading here off and on for a few months, but this is my first post. I'm a college senior, so it's time for me to start thinking about job hunting. I had a few questions for you talented, experienced folks.

    First, I'm trying to put together my portfolio. I write college baseball and minor league baseball for a Web site. How should I include these stories? The problem with printing them directly from the Web site is the ads and such that are part of the layout--not only the ads themselves, but the fact that the text is cut off by the ads when printing. I also have some older clips from the first incarnation of the site when things were not archived, so there is no way for me to print those directly off the Web. Suggestions? I could just include the printed Word documents and specify where the clips were published, but I'm not sure if editors would frown on that or not.

    I'm going to be honest and admit that my work for this Web site is the extent of my published work. I do not get paid, but I am getting internship credits for my writing this semester. Because of my full course load and my part-time job, I have not been able to write for my school's paper. I might cut down my hours at my job and pick up a few nights over there as a sports copy editor, but I simply don't have the time otherwise.

    Be honest: am I really screwed here, or is my experience with the Web site substantial enough? For what it's worth, I have creds with them and covered a few minor league games (complete with press box/interview experience) over the summer, and I'm hoping to get credentials for Spring Training as well.

    Also, re: the job search, when should I start sending things out? I'm guessing that answer is probably ASAP, but the catch is I'm going to be graduating mid-summer instead of in May. Does that make a difference?

    Any help with these questions and any other words of advice for a nervous soon-to-be college grad would be much appreciated. :)
  2. I don't have expert thoughts on whether or not your web-ness will be an impediment; my guess is that it'll be somewhat of an impediment, since you'll be competing for internships and jobs with people who have good print clips, but that hiring editors will appreciate good writing and reporting regardless.

    As for when to start with the job search: ASAP, yes. But I'd also recommend doing an internship search. Many intern programs accept recent college grads as well as still-in-schoolers; with your experience being limited, you might have a better shot getting a decent internship than a decent (or any) job - and your resume, four months from now, will be stronger for it.

    HOWEVAAA: your mid-summer graduation will indeed be an impediment - perhaps more for internships, which usually have a fixed (early/mid-May) start date, than for real jobs, which come available at all times of year.
  3. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Can't speak much for your Web clips, but I don't know if I'd use ones where you can't supply a link to show that it was actually published.

    As sirvaliantbrown said, an internship would help. Deadlines for those are usually in mid October - Jan 1ish. I'd apply for those, but put on your resume or cover letter that your grad date is mid summer. It never hurts to send stuff out now, but don't apply for jobs. Pick out some papers or places you'd like to work / live and send them stuff. When papers have openings they want someone to fill that spot ASAP, so you don't want to waste their time applying for a job when you aren't available until next summer. Send stuff out, ask for advice from the editors and start networking. Also try working for your student paper or stringing for a local one.
  4. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    For your web clips, try outputting a PDF of the web page with your story on it. You can use something like CutePDF.

    It'll have the link of the web page at the top, and it shows the story in the way it's published instead of just a Word doc. Also, you'll never have to worry about the link to the story expiring.
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