Journalism Career Problems

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by Photographer Clayton, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Photographer Clayton

    Photographer Clayton TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I am looking into starting a photojournalism career. But there are some choices I have to make, so I am calling on you guys to help me. Which Newspaper company should I choose to go with? Please keep in mind, I am 15, in high school, and can't drive without a parent. So I am kinda limited but here are the newspapers.

    Courier Tribune - Local paper, delivers to my area, does cover my area, only 10 miles away, lots of readers, but is close to going out of business

    News and Record - Local paper, does cover my area, delivers to my area, about 45 miles away, has most viewers, has been around the longest

    Rhino Times - Not a local paper, does cover my area some, does not deliver to my area, about 60 miles away, has a lot of viewers and is growing rapidly, has been around for 6 years but is growing the fastest
     
  2. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Here is my advice.

    Finish high school.
    Go to college. (journalism major perhaps?)

    Then, become a photojournalist.

    Until that point, you will not be hired. You might be able to get on as a stringer (that's what I do during the summer) but I highly doubt they will take you seriously.
     
  3. eravedesigns

    eravedesigns TPF Noob!

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    I second that. I have a contact that works for the biggest newspaper in my area and the best they do is give college students internships. Sure they buy photos off of freelance photogs but getting a job there will be very hard.
     
  4. KristinaS

    KristinaS TPF Noob!

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    I also agree. I think you're jumping the gun a bit about which paper to work at and you're not even in college yet, but I do admire that you're looking ahead to the future.
    My suggestion would be to, while you are in college, look for internships at a nearby paper. Also, when you are ready, this is a great site to look for said internships and other jobs in the journalism field:
    http://journalismjobs.com/
     
  5. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    You want to jumpstart your career in photojournalism? Work for the school paper it is great practice, then after you graduate join the Air Force and sign up for 3N0X4 (Photojournalist) you will gain so much more experience than over your peers plus free education and credits towards your degree. Ambition is great but it still needs to be realistic.
     
  6. EW1066

    EW1066 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with everything above except the Airforce reccomendation. Join the Navy and be a Photographers mate Not only will you get the same experience as you would get in ghe Airforce but you will most likely see more of the world than you can see from an Airforce base. Airforce bases dont go anywhere......Navy ships go where ever the government wants to put them. Most Photograhpers mates get attached to aircraft squadrons and deploy on aircraft carriers. 4.5 acres of sovreign American Territory any where the President wants to put it. Carriers battle groups get all the good ports. I cant think of anyplace on an Airforce base as exciting as a carrier fligth deck.

    This Navy Recruiting Commercial is now over and we return you to your regularly scheduled discussion...

    Vince

    Electronics Warfare Technician/
    Intelligence Photographer USN 1984-1992
     
  7. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I agree with EW1066, the Navy is a safer bet but photographers earn only about $1200 a month, considering food and accommodation is free and you dont really get to spend money its a good idea. Also congratulations on being so young and already knowing your career path, you have loads of time to get to the top now that you know what you want. My personal advice, stay and finish school, sign up for your school paper. Learn to write good, spelling and grammer etc and then take a writers course via correspondence, this way, you can not only supply journalist photographs, but the words to back the story up effectively which in the eyes of the editor sells better.

    Remember though, photo journalist work is also hard work, so be prepared to put in the time and effort and keep clippings of any published work to build up a book.

    Finally, best of luck.
     
  8. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

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    Also, if of interest, I have a small selection of Showbiz shots on my site. If you need any advice or have further questions, please feel free to pm me or e-mail me. I have 14 years of experience behind me so far so I should be able to help.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I'm not a very good role model, but at 15 I couldn't even spell 'career' never mind 'career problem'. I just took documentary photographs, and learned the craft, because that is what I thought that I ought to do. When I was 17, and had a good knowledge of the craft, I started working as an assistant to a visiting Nat Geo photographer. Not my aesthetic cup of tea, but a good start. In the meantime I had worked for a development charity in Pakistan during school vacations. But I never thought of this stuff as part of a 'career'.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  10. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Im going to have to disagree with you. Do you know how screwed up Navy photographer mate career field is right now? Not only do you have take photos, what you wanted to do. You will have to shoot video and write a story by yourself at the same time. The work load is insane and people in that career field are finding out it impossible to effectivly tell a story when your juggling a camera, video camera, and note pad in your hands. Ok yes your at sea for like a year and dock at some places for like a few days but you are mainly stuck on a small ship. Ever heard of Combat Camera in the USAF? They travel everywhere in the world every month they are somewhere new. The Air Force has way better quality of life. And if Combat Camera isnt your cup of tea AFNEWS photographers travel just as much but work more traditional newpaper and magazine jobs. And yes we deploy alot for about 6 months to different locations around the world if your at a normal base level Public Affairs shop.
     
  11. Dominic

    Dominic TPF Noob!

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    The AF and Navy offer both good, and bad opportunities when it comes to the photography NECs/MOSs. One thing to mention though; a lot of your opportunity depends upon your ultimate duty station. I knew PHs that were stationed with Navy training detachments, and never "saw the world". They took pictures of Awards ceremonies and "community service" functions.

    If luck puts you in a situation to see and experience some cool things (and build a portfolio) that's great. However, taking photos will be only ONE aspect of your career within the military. I also think it is a very poor choice to join any branch of the service simply for educational benefits. If money is an issue, bust your butt in HS and get some scholarships or apply for student aid and grants. Since you're young and focused on photography - start building a portfolio now and research educational grants.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. crh428

    crh428 TPF Noob!

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    OK, while we are on the subject...

    Don't forget about the Army... We do the whole combat camera thing, too. And we actually get promoted (more pay). I'm not going to get into a huge debate about which branch is best (I have to do that at work almost every day), you need to just keep an open mind and focus on your 50 meter target.

    We have a saying in the Army... When we are at the qualifying range we have to shoot at targets that are between 50 meters to 300 meters away. You can absolutely ignore every single 300 meter target and still score very well (there are only 3). But if you focus on hitting those 300 meter targets too much, and you are so worried that you will miss them, you are going to miss the 50 meter targets that are right in front of your face. If you miss those you will fail.

    My point? It's good to have a career in mind. It is even better to have dreams. It is even better still to have a plan to reach those dreams. But you have to remember to take that plan one step at a time. The step you are on right now, whether you want to be a photojournalist, a doctor, a lawyer, a sailor, a soldier, an engineer, whatever, is GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. And do the best you can.

    I'm done with my :soapbox: now. Just don't lose sight of your 50 meter target and GRADUATE!!!
     

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