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Writing at a daily vs. writing at a weekly

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by slatter, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. slatter

    slatter Member

    What's the difference between working at a daily versus working at a weekly? I've interned at a weekly before and worked for some websites where content went up daily, but I'm wondering what the difference is in regards to moving up the circulation chain.

    Which looks better on a resume, a 10,000 circ daily or a 50,000 circ weekly? Do SEs of dailies frown upon taking people from weeklies? Just trying to get a better idea because as I've been applying to papers, I haven't given weeklies much consideration, and I want to know if that's a bad thing. Also, there are several job openings on JJobs with <30,000 circulations daily and I want to figure out if I should be looking at weeklies as well. Obviously beggars can't be choosers, but I'm looking at different options and this question just made me curious.
  2. slatter

    slatter Member

    Also want to make sure I'm not stepping on any toes here. I've worked at a weekly with some of the most talented writers I've been around, so I'm not trying to raise my nose to that option. I'm just wondering how smoothly the transition is in regards to getting hired, etc. after working at a weekly.

    Does working at a 45k weekly mean you can definitely transition to a 45k daily, or do you have to step down? Or could you work at a 100k daily after working at a 45k weekly?

    So many questions, I know. Thanks in advance, SJ.
  3. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    I would take a long hard look at the weekly paper's product. As with anything, there are some really solid ones and really shitty ones.

    If you can find a weekly that is a solid product, will allow you to write good feature stories, profile stories and enterprise stories with the occasional "deadline" story, I'd say go for it.
  4. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I work at a weekly. A real shitty chain of weeklies, but not for the content - at least I don't think so.
    We just lost another writer. We are supposed to have an SE and four other writers (we put out six papers in three days - one on Tuesday, three Wednesday, two Thursday) along with a full staff of three photogs.
    We are down to two reporters and no SE (haven't had one for a full year). Our photog staff is one and he's lazy and mailing it in until he retires in a couple of months.
    Our readership wants game stories. I hate doing game stories because when they go to print, they're three days old sometimes.
    Weeklies are OK, but there's nothing in the world like writing on deadline for a daily.
  5. If you want to climb the career ladder, get to a daily. The deadline pressures of working at a daily newspaper cannot be replicated anywhere else, and you need to be able to handle that to further your career. I started out of college at a 12k daily with a three-man sports staff, got to do a little of everything, and gradually climbed my way up. I would have never considered a weekly after college. Of course, this current job climate skews things. You might want to take the place that seems the most secure, regardless of how many papers they put out each week.
  6. lurking

    lurking New Member

    What do you think about a beat writer who openly applies for the SID job at the school he's covering? Should be stay on that beat? This is the same beat writer who on his off days dresses in school gear, refers to the head coach by his first name, sends his kid to the coach's camp, constantly makes veiled references to bad officiating and does his best to bury any stories that might be perceived as negative (player transfers, etc.)
  7. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    If he's a reporter deliberately burying negative stories he needs to be immediately taken off that beat.
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    You must have my beat as well.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Get him off that beat STAT!
  10. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I worked at a weekly, and we tried to write Sports Illustrated-style gamers. You can't write straight gamers that are three days old. There are ways to work in game details (so moms and dads won't call in droves) with a feature angle.
  11. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I've worked at three dailies and a weekly. There's quite a bit of a difference - the biggest of which is writing on a daily deadline. When I was at a weekly, you could think about your stories. Sometimes at the daily, you had to go with whatever was in your head as far as a lede or angle. That's the biggest thing you learn at a daily, especially doing gamers, is organization of thoughts and putting your paragraphs in order quickly.
    The other part is breaking news, especially if you get a late tip on something. You could just go get it tomorrow if you had time at the weekly. At a daily, you could end up working a 16-hour day tracking down a story.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I learned that lesson when I worked at a biweekly student news magazine at my university. I knew pretty much every media outlet would already have the gamer, so I turned my piece into one with a second day lede and took an analytical approach to the game.

    The SE at the big student daily actually complimented my story. I guess I did something right.
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