1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What to do with a lot of sports writing experience that's NOT sports writing.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bl67550, May 11, 2010.

  1. bl67550

    bl67550 Member

    So I'm in a predicament and thought I might get a few thoughts from you guys if any of you might have some insight.

    I'm in an area that I don't want to move far away from and the local papers are pretty full up. Therefore, I am considering making a slight change to my long-term plan and avoid a start at a newspaper right out of the gate (just finished college).

    My first thought was the obvious one - PR - but where do I look. I am near Charlotte, NC and have searched the area for such opportunities but have so far found very little, mostly scam pyramid scheme type deals.

    I am not altogether abandoning the thought of newspaper work, it is still where I would probably prefer to get my start, but I would take almost anything around the Charlotte/321/I40 corridor that would even slightly line up with the considerable freelancing/college paper experience I've picked up. That includes Boone, Statesville, Hickory, Morganton, Lincolnton, Lenoir, etc.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

  3. I don't think there was anyone could have said anything funnier to that question.

    But seriously, good luck. Before I landed where I am now, I was at a pretty bad paper and trying to find anything else I could, like PR stuff, marketing writing, advertising. I managed to get a few interviews, but every one of the interviewers was pretty clearly turned off when they found out I had "only" covered sports.

    Based on conversations I've had with angry or confused readers and those job interviews, I think most people who have never worked at a newspaper imagine news reporters diligently calling their secret sources 24 hours a day to get some big scoop while sports writers sit in the office and write about whatever games they happen to be watching on television that day.
  4. bl67550

    bl67550 Member

    I might have mislead you with my subject. By 'not sports writing' I mean, 'not newspaper sports writing'. I would be very, very eager to find something along the lines of writing content for a local minor league team. I want to be in sports, I have no desire whatsoever to be in anything else. My question is more about what businesses...such as the minor league team idea...I should be looking at as possible resume receptors.
  5. bl67550

    bl67550 Member

    By the way just to make the picture clearer, my major in college was English and I concentrated in professional writing. I would think that makes me ideal for work inside the business.
  6. Most minor league teams have someone writing up press releases and stuff, but from the few friends I have in that industry, I've heard it's as low paying as sports writing, involves similar hours and requires doing things like organizing birthday parties for kids, calling around for advertisers and going to local businesses and trying to sell them corporate ticket packages.

    Pro teams seem to have a small staff of writers/new media people, but with little work experience you're probably going to have a tough time getting one of those jobs. That doesn't mean you shouldn't apply if you see one you like (There's an Atlanta Falcons posting in the jobs board if you don't mind the prospect of moving a little out of your range for it).

    If you're looking for sports but not at a newspaper, that's about your best bet. Otherwise, you might find a non-sports gig and supplementing it as much freelance as you can pile on.
  7. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    You want to write sports? Write sports. Just know that you're going to stay broke.
  8. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    You may need to alter your expectations a bit ... If you want to work bad enough, there's a job out there. You just may need to travel a bit further than you want.

    It may not be a place where you want to stay for a long time ... but you don't need to. Most smaller papers understand that you'll get your feet wet and move on. Some places, you'll be lucky enough to find a good SE who will help you get to the next level.

    Good luck.
  9. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Have you asked everyone you have met on these assignments -- editors and writers at these papers and competing ones -- for job leads?

    Have you walked into the front office of every team in the Carolina League and hand-delivered your resume, preferably to the general manager? Not sure exactly what you mean by "resume receptor," but I hope you don't mean simply e-mailing a resume. Minor league teams might get hundreds of applications for each job. Many positions are filled at the job fair at the winter meetings (see www.pbeo.com). Go hard for a job, or sit passively and remain unemployed.

    Actually, it's irrelevant. Sorry about that, and I don't mean to be harsh, but no one cares where you might have gone to college or what your major might have been. Got a fancy degree from a journalism school? Doesn't matter. Can you show me you can deliver a clean game story in 20 minutes? Now you're talking.
  10. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Problem is PR-wise you are fresh out of college and competing in a tough market against (in most cases) much more experienced applicants...those jobs are getting flooded not just with Media Relations people, but also with frustrated newspaper writers (trust me, I'm one of them).

    Just a tough market in many fields, but especially in this one. Saying you're an "ideal" candidate based on what classes you took is overstating your worth -- in a big way. Not trying to be offensive, just giving you a wake up call...keep at it, but don't be afraid to start low on the ladder somewhere to gain experience.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Long story short: You want to write about sports for a living. Good luck, so do several million other people. Find something that makes you different from them (and a degree ain't it).
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Working for a sports team pays less than a newspaper job. Usually, you start out as an unpaid intern handing out water bottles and keychains, then get to write a press release stating "the hard-working Podunk Braves put up a fierce challenge before losing to the Backwater Pirates 11-0."

    To be honest, you need to be more clear in your posts, because if you're not clear here, an employer will have a hard time as well.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page