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Message: I am presently working for an airline. I am also a freelance sports reporter for two sports websites. How can I get into a paying job for sportswriting whether it be for a newspaper or magazine?
Hi Jo Ann,
Several considerations off the bat: What competitive advantage do you bring to a newspaper or magazine? Do you specialize in some sports area? Going from a freelance sports reporter to a paying job is a natural step and can certainly happen.
The thing to do is to decide where you want to work, what salary you are willing to work for, what type of organization do you want to work for. Once you decide that it's a matter of doing anything to get your resume in front of the person who hires. That can be done through networking, through informational interviews, through sending a cover letter, resume directly to the person who will hire you and try to get an interview. Design your resume around the skills and experiences in sports writing.
Generally, all writing jobs have been hit by the recent slump but sports writing seems to be holding its own. Remember that posted jobs are maybe 20% of the jobs available and the "hidden" job market needs to be explored in the ways I described above.
Don't forgo a chance at an internship either. Any publication that interests you, find out if they have internship programs and how to apply. That's an excellent way get into a regular job.
This is a British website about sports writing that may be helpful:
They emphasize credentials, formal training etc whereas Americans' focus on experience. However, what they mention as qualities editors look for do apply in this country.
Here is a good resource for sports writing jobs:
Good luck in your endeavors!
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