You're Hired! Editor at Cannon Beach Gazette
"You're Hired!" is a new series celebrating the job search successes of fellow UO students. Each week the Career Center will feature a story detailing one student's path to employment.
COMPANY: Cannon Beach Gazette
LOCATION: Cannon Beach, OR
I was offered the position after working as a reporter for one of the other papers owned by the company for 3 months. I was attracted to the position because I am really in love with journalism as a career. I have worked in other career fields where I did not have any job satisfaction. As a journalist I have gotten to write about corrupt cops and expose people making mistakes that cost the public millions of dollars to fix. Having strangers on the street come up to you to thank you for having the bravery to tackle a tough story gives me quite a bit of job satisfaction.
Beyond my passion for journalism’s role in ensuring democracy works, I love the creativity of being an editor. I get a lot of autonomy about how I choose stories that I didn’t have as a reporter. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be able to expand the paper’s web presence by creating multimedia content for our site. Cannon Beach is a really gorgeous town on the Oregon coast with a really strong art scene, so I see a lot of potential to tell stories in multimedia that I couldn’t do in just print.
This position was an internal hire, which the company did not advertise for. I heard about my first job with the company through a friend, but I had already met the editor at a meeting of the UO chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which gave me a real inside track to the job.
Every person I’ve ever heard about who has actually had a successful career in journalism started by either writing for the school newspaper or doing some other form of unpaid internship. I’m sure that this is advice most journalism students have heard, but you need to get experience to get a job in the field. The thing that makes journalism different than a lot of other fields is that your resume doesn’t matter as much as your clips. People don’t care what you’ve done if you can’t do the work, and a lot of good clips that have actually been published somewhere other than your blog show that you can do the work.
There are also a lot of people who think that there aren’t jobs at newspapers anymore. This really isn’t true, but I don’t think that any journalism student, no matter how brilliant, should think that they can get a job at a metro daily right out of school. However, there are a lot of opportunities out there if you are willing to go to a smaller town. I know that there are people who hate the idea of being in a smaller publication, but my experience is that small town papers are a great place to work. You’ll get a lot more variety in what you cover, and the community is often really proud of you and you get great access to everything. In my 3 months at the newspaper in Tillamook, a town of less than 5000 people I met a congressman, the governor, and got to cover a bunch of high profile court cases.
The Career Center gave a great presentation on how to get internships at a meeting of the UO chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which gave me a lot of help getting my first newspaper internship. It was an unpaid internship, but it gave me the experience I needed to get my first paid position, which led me here.