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When hiring -- why not at least try?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by UNCGrad, May 23, 2012.

  1. UNCGrad

    UNCGrad Member

    A paper I know a little something about recently had a reporter job come open, but it didn't post the opening on j-jobs, or, from what some others can gather, anywhere else. Naturally, the word is some new graduate got the job. The paper is under 10K circ, daily.

    OK, fine. And it's entry level, and all that goes with that, including the shitty pay in this business. And they have a right to hire whomever they want. Good for them. I hope the kid is a stud and does phenomenal work.

    But I can't help but wonder why not think a little bigger? This industry has been so ravaged, and there are so many great reporters from all over who are out of work and might've been interested in this position, even for what it was. So to not even try to see if someone with a nice resume might want to come on board seems like such a colossal waste to me. We all know what the salary would be, so be up front about it, and anyone with any experience in the field will know what it's going to be, anyway. If they're still interested in talking about it, take a shot. At least try to net somebody who might be a star for you.

    Apparently I got out of it before I lost my heart, perhaps.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's because for all the talk quality matters, it doesn't in the end to publishers and the owners/shareholders.

    They want a kid they can overwork who doesn't know any better than shut up and take it. A vet knows what tricks the bosses try to pull and has the guts to stand up for themselves.
  3. rmanfredi

    rmanfredi Active Member

    Also, a kid who is getting his first job might be happy to bust his ass for several years while trying to put together a great set of clips and wind up producing tremendous work. Someone who has a lot more experience - even if they say they are OK with the salary - is a lot less likely to be motivated to produce great work and also a lot more likely to bail six months later, leaving you in the same boat you were just in.
  4. SellOut

    SellOut Member

    Think there's something to be said for mentality. Would you rather have a 22-year-old kid fresh out of school grinding it out and getting his feet wet or a more established writer from a bigger market who considers himself too good for the job but feels compelled to apply and/or it because he/she out of work.
    Me? I'd rather have the kid. Let him do the grunt work and if he's good and has the right attitude he'll attack it and (hopefully) won't be there too long.
    You take the other guy and there's a risk of having a problem one of my old shops has: hired a guy who worked in a bigger market but was out of work. He came in, spent the first 2 years trying to look for a "better" job, didn't get one and been an attitude problem for the bosses ever since.
    I'm not saying all writers are like that, but if given the option, in an entry-level job I'm taking the kid every single time.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    partly true. But it's also a buyer's market right now. So unless you are legally required to advertise a position... what's the point? If you know who you want --- even if it happens to be the publisher's neighbor's niece --- save yourself some grief and a lot of useless resumes.

    Then you won't have to listen to the gripes of a certain guy/gal on this board about a year ago who was angered over spending 20 minutes putting together a package only to learn the hiring manager went with someone he knew from a previous job.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    You know, I just wonder, especially with all the changes and downsizing in the industry in recent years.... are there too many people wanting to be journalists, especially sports journalists?

    For example, when I was a freshman in university many years ago, I was real intrigued with the idea of becoming a meterologist. I talked to a number of people in the field about the education required and career path. The discouraging message I got was there just were not enough job --- or at least the jobs I was interested in --- out there. So I went another route.

    Of course, it's the same for being a pro athlete... far more wannabees than jobs available.

    I've always encouraged people to follow their dreams. So if there are young people out there wanting to be the next Grantland Rice or Dick Enberg, follow your dreams. It is, after all, YOUR life.

    But I was going through a mental checklist of people I had worked with over the last 20 years or so and wondering where they ended up. Very few ended up in places of prominence. Just the way the world is, in this or any other profession. Do what you love if you can. But SOMEONE has to be the clerk at Walmart, too.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Apparently you've never been to Walmart or you would realize they try very hard to have no clerks manning the checkouts.
  8. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    It's about networking. We're reporters. We find out things. So network with people at the places you might like to work, or people with connections to those places.

    I have gotten four jobs in this business. So far as I am aware, the newspapers did not advertise any of those jobs.
  9. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    In my career I've held seven different jobs with five different companies in this field (in TV, radio and print). I think one of those was advertized. The paper I used to compete against went through three or four different SEs during my time in town and I don't think they advertized once. If that's how a company wants to do it, that's how they'll do it.
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    My first job was an advertised position, but the three after that and the freelancing thing before that was also based on networking, yeah. Whenever a college kid asks me for advice (even though I'm only 28), I always stress that it's far more important to do things like establishing cordial relationships with professors and professionals, and getting relevant real-life experience, as opposed to making sure you write a perfect thesis paper.
  11. kickoff-time

    kickoff-time Member

    My old publisher felt that if you gave reporters bylines, they would get a big ego and want to move on. So, nobody got a byline, unless you wrote a column.

    This also was the same place that fired a reporter because it found out he was applying for another job. Needless to say I never talked about other openings.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I hope that publisher was eventually crushed by a paper roll or impaled by a pica pole.
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