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Working for the Associated Press

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Corky Ramirez up on 94th St., Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    Anyone on here write/wrote for AP as a full-time reporter/editor?

    In my constant drive to try and find a new job, I'm beginning to look further into it. I will be taking the AP test soon. A good friend who works for AP gave me a little insight into what it's like. Can be very tough to get in (no surprise there).

    If you can give me some insight on what to expect or some advice, it'd be much appreciated. PM me as well.

    I tried looking for previous posts on this but didn't come up with anything.
  2. And get their copy CHOPPED IN HALF in newspapers across the state. What a thankless job.
  3. daveevansedge

    daveevansedge Member

    Check out the wire for the past 12-15 hours to see what Ronald Blum's day was like at the baseball GM meetings. Ugh. He's had one long day that dragged well into the night in Orlando.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    There's not too much time off when you're the lead guy in a metro bureau. Look at a Philadelphia or Pittsburgh bureau, any city with four pro teams with one main writer, and you'll get a small sense of how much work goes into being an AP sports writer.
  5. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    There's job security at AP.
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Not if some of us had anything to do with it.
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    There might be even less time off in places like Alabama, where John Zenor has to bounce back and forth between Auburn and Tuscaloosa, as well as keeping up with other happenings across the state. He punts in a ton of hours not counting all the time spent in the car.
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    How much would you guess these guys make? I hope the AP makes their sacrifice of lives worth it.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The current AP/Guild contract is here:

  10. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Unless you have strong experience as a beat writer at a large metro, I wouldn't expect to start out as a full-time sports writer in a larger AP bureau. That designation typically takes years to earn and those jobs are in pretty high demand.

    I spent close to 10 years w/AP, moving from general assignment (where you'd likely start and work lots of night shifts, depending on the bureau at which you're hired), to state broadcast editor and finally to sports writer. Your early years will likely be spent re-writing newspaper stories and press releases into briefs packages, pulling together weather roundups and the like. You'll get to do some enterprise stories.

    Developing a fundamental understanding of general news writing -- where you'll cover everything from the legislature to murder trials to hurricanes to, yes, elections -- made me a much better sports writer when I finally returned to sports. I have absolutely no regrets about having spent that time at AP.

    With that in mind, it is hard work, the hours and split days off can be brutal and the pay is OK for the news industry but crappy compared to anywhere else. If you get a job, join the Guild.
  11. The good news is AP writers are paid for what they work...Work a 55-hour week, get paid for 55 hours.

    It sounds obvious, but it doesn't always happen like that, as we all know.
  12. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, it doesn't always quite work like that at AP, either. Still too many people willing to put in free overtime to get ahead and too many bureau chiefs and editors willing to look the other way because it enables them to keep the budget numbers down and get head pats from New York.
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