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Writer/designer in Danville, Va.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by DrewWilson, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    You get better BECAUSE you get clips. Most papers, be they the Hungry Horse News or the major metro, give you the opportunity to get better, but most if not all of the work towards improving falls on your shoulders. But what you WILL get is opportunities that most 20-24K dailies don't give you. Their location allows them easy access to literally half the ACC (all four NC schools and two Virginia schools), major sporting events in Carolina's I-85 corridor, NASCAR at Martinsville, the like. The ME there understands the importance of these events in the community; you won't get sucked up into hyperlocal there. Plus with a four person staff and five high schools, everyone gets a crack at it.

    To be honest, though, if you have 3-4 years at a daily with major college experience, you probably wouldn't be interested because Media General doesn't shell out at a rate you'd be satisfied with, unless you work at a Deep South town or a JRC/Odgen/Gatehouse paper. Though Danville has low cost of living, so it's not poverty wage either.

    I'd took a job here under far sketchier circumstances and would hit it today like boots at a goatse convention*, but I make too much where I am now. But I can recommend it with few reservations (when Ham's is your best hangout option, you're pretty limited).
  2. If you have "3-4 years of daily experience, including some major college experience," then you should be beyond working somewhere just to "get clips." Unless you're talking about college "daily newspaper experience."
  3. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    And as far as people moving on: The top two beat writers at Lynchburg (UVa. and Va. Tech) are Danvillians. R&B has also produced a sports desk guy in Durham, a guy doing N.C. State for a website, and a couple other people who I forget (I think one's at the Greensboro News and Record, but I could be wrong). Multiple news alumni have landed in Greensboro, Durham, Lynchburg and Fredericksburg. A good feeder paper with more hits than misses.
  4. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    There was also a fairly recent Danville guy that moved on to some sports editor gigs and another one that moved home to Ohio and took a job at what I believe is a state-wide weekly sports publication.

    You really will get an opportunity to do a lot more there than you would with a lot of entry level jobs. Another thing that I don't think has really been mentioned is that the section has done a complete 180 in the past few years, and I think a lot of the people at bigger papers in the region noticed. Under the old sports editor Danville was a joke in Richmond, Roanoke, Lynchburg, etc. But the guys at those papers kind of took notice and where very encouraging when the new regime was able to turn the place around.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    And most of the guys were part of that reign of terror and moved on to better days, so I'd say the chances of advancement are better now than even then.
  6. DrewWilson

    DrewWilson Member

    To hit on what Jake and MM had to say, the section has changed a lot in the last two years. It went from looking like your typical podunk community paper to having more of a small metro appeal with actual centerpiece stories, pullout info, online content (photo galleries, etc). With the exception of the main high school, we have dropped off game coverage a bit to focus on more feature content. We still cover some games, but we try to use our stringers when possible to allow staffers to do bigger and better stuff. Getting a fourth person will definitely help that push even more.

    If anybody is trying to get a feel of the section, you can check out some of our posted front pages on newspagedesigner.com. I have a portfolio and so does one of our staffers, Jeff Patterson.
  7. pmartin25

    pmartin25 Guest

    so how is your search going so far Drew?
  8. DrewWilson

    DrewWilson Member

    Still taking in resumes. Since I just posted it Friday night, I'd imagine most resumes sent through the post office won't make it into my hands for a few days. But as I mentioned, the goal is to move quickly.
  9. Before I forget, I ran into one of their writers and he had nothing but good things to say about Drew and the quality of the paper.
  10. Wonderlic

    Wonderlic Member

    If someone applies via e-mail, do you want hard copies snail mailed as well?
  11. Just wondering how quickly you are planning to move. Do you plan on making the hire within the next month or two?
  12. DrewWilson

    DrewWilson Member

    If you apply via e-mail, snail mail is not needed.

    I hate putting a time limit on it because I want to get the best fit for us, but I'd say within two months. Basically, I've been told that if I don't hire in that time frame, we run the risk of corporate re-freezing the position. ::)
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