Making your way into that newspaper room door is not an impossible task. In fact, its fairly a breezy one, IF you possess a few of the traits needed to get your foot in that very busy door. Open your eyes to an exciting field of opportunity.
Heres the scoop:
You may start out with a typical scenario like this one:
You see an ad in the local newspaper for Reporters at your local community/weekly newspaper. You respond to it with a modest resume and a couple of modest writing samples. They like what you have to offer, and they use you occasionally as a stringer. A stringer is a reporter or correspondent that is on call for newsworthy happenings and events in their local area. This may mean a correspondent is called on to cover an event that a staff writer is not available to cover.
The correspondent proceeds to go out to cover the story, which is usually a local one or one within the parameters of a certain county. A correspondent may also be responsible for a few different towns if needed. The correspondent usually works offsite. This is the initial way of getting into the newsroom door. Although the correspondent is not fully IN at this point, if persistent, can get further in…read on…
After a while of stringing for a newspaper and proving ones writing abilities and reliability, stringing becomes a good stepping stone for a hot seat at the newspaper itself (in the actual news room at an acutal desk–onsite!). Yes, this is a very tangible possibility. Many times, news rooms are considered to have revolving doors, because writers tend to get their experience, pick up, and use the place as a stepping stone to another opportunity. Reporting/Writing positions at newspapers often do not pay well and working conditions could be rather scarce.
In other words, spots are ALWAYS available in the newspaper field. A person just has to be persistent, quick, and assertive to get them. Not to mention, writing ability has to be present (not a perfected one, but a good one).
Note: This means at lower levels. Upper-level reporter jobs at daily newspapers require a little more experience and possibly a substantial knowledge or background in a particular town or area.
Having the spot as a correspondent puts the fledgling reporter in the perfect position of getting ready to fulfill a staff writer seat. A correspondent has to continue his/her reliability with stories, follow ups, phone calls, accuracy and availability when it comes to this field. Aggressiveness and friendliness are a good mix and will work to propel a young reporter, as well.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye and ear out for an open spot. Editors at newspapers are usually tough, but friendly. Typically, they want to see who is newspaper material, by initialing putting people off and being aloof. But, when their needs are sufficed, they react in a positive manner and give those who are persistent, reliable, and trustworthy a shot. They really do!
Experience at a local/weekly newspaper serves a person well if they wants to work up to a daily newspaper or magazine position. Or, the experience can be taken to other areas, as well, including technical writing, television, public relations, speechwriting, or proposal writing.