Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item The Online Resource for Sports Photography

 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Classified Ads
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions

Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.



|| Member Message Board

Leaving the newspaper industry
Neal Vaughan, Photographer
St. Joseph | MI | usa | Posted: 10:30 AM on 07.25.07
->> - warning- long post ahead :) -

When my (new) wife and I decided that we wanted to move on from the town we are living in, I had a decision to make. Either find a job at another paper, or take a job with a family-owned company. Well, I decided that I'd never be able to achieve my financial goals working in photojournalism, so I gave notice a week ago. I'm taking a 180 degree career turn for a desk job that probably will not be as rewarding emotionally, but that pays much more.

Financial issues were not the only reason I decided to leave news. I was not interested in the platypus concept, nor did I have the training necessary in that field to move on to a larger paper where those skills are increasingly required. And other issues too, that I'm sure every news PJ has, like pouring your heart into an assignment and seeing it run as a half-column mug or a 1-column photo with bastard crops and type across it.

This is not intended to be a bitch post. I'm truly hoping to get feedback from other members (or past members) who have gone through a similar experience. Did you feel a tug back towards news after a while? Did you try and keep your name "alive" by doing occasional stringer work?

While it's too late for me to change my decision (and I don't want to), I'd like to hear from some ex-PJ's who might have taken a similar route. Do you regret getting out of the PJ/news business? Or do you find, in retrospect, it was a good move?

I don't expect a lot of posts, and private responses via email are welcome. Your experiences will be kept confidential, as this is for my personal use only. Thank you in advance for any bits of advice you can offer.

Also, I am posting the relevant job opening that is being created in the classifieds here, if you need a job yourself.

 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

John Taggart, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 10:41 AM on 07.25.07
->> Neal.

I have been doing this for quite some time. The thing I think of the most is who will hire me ? All I have is newspaper experience. It is the ONLY thing I know how to do. If you dont mind me asking, what job did you take ?
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Neal Vaughan, Photographer
St. Joseph | MI | usa | Posted: 11:19 AM on 07.25.07
->> Yeah, I wrestled with the same thoughts. What else can you do with a Visual Communications degree?

For me, the opportunity is at a small business that my father co-owns. I've been doing consulting work for him for years and he asked me to work for him full-time. It's an opportunity I would not have had save for the family connection, so I can't help you there. The work has nothing to do with photography.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David M. Russell, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 07.25.07
->> Is your dad still hiring?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (20) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Marcus Marter, Photographer
South Bend | IN | United States | Posted: 12:30 PM on 07.25.07
->> Neal,

Gene, Chago and Myself will miss seeing you at all those Michigan sporting events. The best of luck to you.

 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Neal Vaughan, Photographer
St. Joseph | MI | usa | Posted: 12:57 PM on 07.25.07
->> Thanks Marcus. You are very talented and I'm sure you will go a long way if you stay in the biz yourself. As for Gene, at least I won't have equipment envy anymore when he shows up with 3 bodies and 18 lenses.

The best part about it all? NO MORE MISS BLOSSOMTIME!!!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Nick Doan, Photographer
Scottsdale Phoenix Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:59 PM on 07.25.07
->> Neal,

I used to work for a very large newspaper. Not as a staff photographer, but I was directly involved in newsroom activities, and worked as a special events photo editor, extra shooter, all around gopher, etc.

At the time I decided to leave the newspaper, I was working between 10-16 hours a day, six or seven days a week, I would get calls at home at 3am from Japan or Cairo or Rio asking for help, etc. etc. I had been in Japan for over a month, my wife hated DC, and I just had had enough, so we decided to move somewhere dry (it rained 180 days in DC that year!) and let my wife go back to grad school.

I wanted a 9-5 job that free'd up my weekends. So, I went to work in the IT field. I worked with a good company doing development work as a Systems engineer (i have an Electrical Engineering degree) for 3 or 4 years, when the IT industry bottomed out and our entire department was laid off. I then went to work (after a bit of time lazing about being laid off) for a Financial services company in their IT department, and that was probably the worst job I ever had. Monitoring computer systems, and fixing emergencies, whie having days on end iwth nothing to do.

When I started that job in the Financial Sector, all life had been sucked out of me. I was unhappy, bored, and remembering that my newspaper job as the "best, most exciting job" I ever had.

So, I bought myself a digital camera. Then, I started shooting for a local sports magazine (online) covering high school football. Then they asked me to cover college football. Since I owned the rights to the photos, I placed them with Icon SMI, who sold photos from my first game to SI. Then, Icon asked me to cover some other stuff for them, which also sold well. Then, I started working with a local Youth Sports Companya nd extraordinary photographer Scott Wachter, and working with other agencies, and Arizoan State University and another exrtaordinary photographer Jason Wise, and basically wove myself into the freelance market in Arizona working for many magazine, different agencies, covering MLB, NFL, PGA Tour, etc.

I left my last IT job about four years ago when realized that I could make as much money freelancing as I could working as a Network Engineer. I can honestly say that I am finally happy with my profession again, Especially, the free lancing aspect of it. I am not telling you that you should freelance. (at times it can be a real struggle) I am not saying that you won't be happy with your new position. (it might ,it can be the best job you ever have too!) I was just relating what my own experiences when I left, and what it took for me to get back. I hope that it helps you in some way.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Bruce Twitchell, Photographer
Coeur d'Alene | ID | USA | Posted: 1:00 PM on 07.25.07
->> Neal,
I feel your pain. I too got out of a the daily business, mostly because of the financial reasons but also because there was virtually never a set schedule that stayed set. ONce my first kid rolled in, I wanted to be able to plan ahead, and working at newspapers didn't appear to allow that- there was always some reason that I had to stay late or come in early.

I now tell people that I went into teaching for the money, which is only a half joke. It has been one of the best moves I have ever made, I love it. I can plan ahead, but as you ask, I did start to miss the deadlines and seeing my work in print. I do some freelancing, not a lot- mostly because I don't market myself much, but I do some. Just because you are leaving the daily biz does not mean you have to stop shooting. I just got done shooting a Babe Ruth Baseball tournament and posted them online to sell. Not getting rich off it, but it allowed me to shoot.

So yes, there is still the tug backwards. When I watch games on tv and see the shooters on the sidelines I miss the grind off the daily. I miss being in "the know" on everything that is happening around town. There is a lot that I miss, but it has been worth leaving.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Belvidere | IL | USA | Posted: 1:13 PM on 07.25.07
->> Alison Harbaugh posted a couple weeks ago that she too is leaving the newspaper business (to focus on her own business); my last day at my paper will be this coming Sunday. I'm going to give freelancing a shot, even if it means getting another part-time job in retail or something.

I'm thinking that Jim McNay's prediction "we'll all be freelancers soon" may actually come true sooner than many of us hoped if newsrooms continue to evolve into corporate fluff factories filled with fresh-faced recent graduates.

I left a pretty good career to pursue a career in the news business and I'm not ready to go back to filling out TPS reports any time soon.

Neal I suspect there will be a period of time when you will instinctively want to follow fire trucks, and when you'll start to feel nostalgic when you see the Friday night lights over your local high school. It sounds like this decision was the right one for you at this time; I hope you keep some contact with the news business either with stringing or blogging at least until you have decided conclusively that it's really time to move on.

Best o' luck, and congratulations.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 07.25.07
->> I to, am leaving the newspaper business to pursue my own venture in photography and filmmaking. I wish I could say it was a tough call, but the nature of what I used to do in newspaper has changed so much, at least in the papers that offer opportunities where I live, and I decided that in order to do the things I have fun with, or if I am to do the other things, I can get paid and retain the rights to do it in my favor instead.

I jumped on the video bandwagon early and have made several films and music videos, building a name in that field as well as building clients and experience in high production shoots and advertising. So, I am looking forward to starting out on my own as a freelance motion and still photographer.

We are also getting ready to uproot and move to Portland, OR to start a family and build the business out there.

I know the newspaper work is like a drug, the excitement and adrenaline that comes from the unknown and sometimes exciting life. But, I figure, I can now use my skills to build an income and give myself the assignments I have always dreamed of that I couldn't get as a staffer. Best of luck to you!
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

John Plassenthal, Photographer
Vandalia | OH | USA | Posted: 1:48 PM on 07.25.07
->> Neal,

I can't speak to PJ, but I can speak to photography in general. I had the same decision to make back in the 80's. I was faced with 3 possible carreer choices one of which was photography. In the end I chose to get a degree in computer science and work in the IT industry. Photography has been a creative outlet and side business for the last 20+ years and I've never regretted the decision. When my kids were young I scaled back the photo operations for more time with them. Now that they are older, I have more time to devote and am taking on more.

As you said, the money is better which afords the things you want for your kids, wife, etc. But you don't have to give up photography, you just have to manage it differently. You may find yourself buying D200's instead of a single D2X and you schedule your photography work around other things and take jobs that can be accomplished on evenings and weekends. You also get the luxury of being able to take the jobs you want to do as opposed to any old job that comes along. I routinely turn down work and suggest other guys in the area who do the things I don't care to. From a business side since it's not the bread and butter job, you get a little more freedom in terms of the budget too.

Depending on the market you're moving to you may be able to get some work as a stringer to feed that part of the passion, however, if you're in a market like I'm in the paper may not want any more than they already have. Make contacts and keep trying till something opens up. My philosophy is that sooner or later the paper will need another shooter and I'll get the opportunity(of course any other thought process would be defeatist and I could be fooling myself).

In any market there are opportunities that go untapped. As a "part-timer" you can spend some time pursuing "the road less travelled" pursuing subjects that interest you personally with less of a concern about the payday. Sometimes you get to create a market for something that's not already there.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jean Finley, Photo Editor, Photographer
Iowa City | IA | USA | Posted: 4:18 PM on 07.25.07
->> Neal -

Best of luck to you. Now you can pursue photography in new ways.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 6:44 PM on 07.25.07
->> Don't give up shooting for yourself.

Good luck.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Ron Kuenstler, Photographer
New Berlin | WI | USA | Posted: 7:08 PM on 07.25.07
->> Last December I too decided to leave the newspaper business and return to school to finish a degree in education. I still freelance a bit, but I tell you that it was the best move I could make. After returning to school after being away for more that fourteen years was a challenge. However, I am a much better student now than I was years ago.
Like others said, I miss being in the loop with community news, and I miss seeing my friends out on assignment. The reward of being a teacher will last a lot longer than all those old press passes that are collecting dust in the basement. Good Luck to you all... Cheers,
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Michelle Posey, Photographer
Little Rock | AR | United States | Posted: 8:53 PM on 07.25.07
->> Wow. After reading this post and the responses, I'm beginning to wonder if there will be anybody left in the newspaper industry.

I left at the end of January this year to raise my son. Just like Bruce said, I wanted to be able to be there for my kid, not to find myself working late or coming in early. Now, I take freelance assignments on my own terms -- nights and weekends. I plan to start back to work on a photo story I was doing before I had my son -- just to keep the creative juices flowing.

I can't say I've missed it so far. I was already burnt out on spot news, and the daily round of uninspiring assignments and wild art hunting had begun to take their toll.

Neal, congratulations on this opportunity. I hope it works out well.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

John Lee, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 07.25.07
->> gotta say, after leaving a job at a major metro paper two years ago to freelance, i'm excited about photography again, in a way that i hadn't been since i was in college. the creative juices are flowing again, and i'm challenging myself in ways that i haven't for a long time.

i'm still trying to figure out why -- maybe it's because i'm making pictures for myself now, and not just to feed the beast that is the newspaper. or maybe it's because as a freelancer trying to earn a living, i am judged by the absolute most recent picture i make for a client. or maybe it's because (and i'm sure i'll get some hell for this one) the freelance talent pool just might be that much greater (gulp! ready for attacks any minute now...). i've left the smallish american photojournalism pond and entered the much bigger sea of general photography. i'm now shooting predominantly magazine editorial portraiture/features and commercial work, competing against art-based photographers with some really damn good chops. and the fierce competition keeps me on my toes.

freelancing is both exciting and scary as hell. exciting because the sky's the limit and i can take any road i want. scary because i have no safety net like i did as a staffer. and i feel compelled to constantly hustle for new work. my livelihood depends on it. maybe that's why i'm so excited about photography again, it's because i've forced myself out of the comfort zone and shook my world up a bit.

but you know the one thing that i really miss about the newspaper world? sports photography. it's just so much fun, and i miss the feeling of spending the day at the ballpark, or the excitement of shooting a really great basketball game, the goofy pageantry of college football, the americana of baseball...

one thing i definitely don't miss from newspaper work, though, is stalking out in front of people's homes or outside of a courthouse to chase down people for news stories.

so do i regret leaving my newspaper staff job? nope. not a bit.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeffery Jones, Photographer, Photo Editor
Gallup | NM | USA | Posted: 10:20 AM on 07.26.07
->> Even if I did not have a two year old at home I would be looking at a way out. The industry seems to be in a downward spiral -- with every encounter I have with officials acting like photography is a criminal activity, editors not caring about the quality of work - as long as they fill the space - and the lack of pay (less than $30k a year after 10+ years AND as head of the department, only getting paid 0.15 per mile and a health insurance so overpriced I can't afford it through work).

Moving to a bigger paper is not an option - they all want video and multimedia experience, that I don't have, can't afford to do on my own dime, and will never get at my current job as the publisher has no interest in such things here.

The starting pay for inexperienced school teachers in this county is much higher than my pay after 10 years. I am seriously looking at leaving the field entirely.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Tony Mastres, Photographer
Santa Barbara | Ca | USA | Posted: 4:58 PM on 07.26.07
->> At the risk of being pummeled by some people I know on this board I'm going to throw out a wild suggestion to those who have posted their stories here. Check out becoming a University Photographer. Almost every major (and alot of smaller) universities and colleges have at least one staff photographer (many have several). A good portion of those fall into the PR work category where they cover assignments such as environmental portraits, sporting events, some breaking news stories, press conferences (anything sound failiar there?) Others are more like me and do mostly studio and location work much like a commercial photographer ( I do a ton of sports though, which is why I'm in SS). A good place to view a broad spectrum of the kind of work done at univertities can be found

Best thing is that universities (along with state and local gvt) seem to be the last bastion of the pension plan employers so retirement is a bit less worrisome than out in the "real world". Also the hours are fairly regular compared to working at a newspaper, even with the occasional night/weekend assignment. Salary seems to be good too, you wont get rich but I'm fairly certain that its comparable or better than the average city news photog.

Just to be clear, I only bring this up because it seems like some people are pretty down about working in the paper business and this seems like a viable alternative to simply leaving the profession. Also these jobs arent easy to find because theres not a lot of turnover, people tend to stay put. nonethess I usually see about 1-2 available each month in various places around the country. May be worth a look for some of you that are thinking about taking a different job.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 5:32 PM on 07.26.07
->> Tony,

Even universities are stepping back from employing staff photographers. The same market forces are at play in that area as there are in the newspaper industry.

 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:43 PM on 07.26.07
->> tony, I know several folks who work for several different universities and I gotta say after seeing the things they go through I don't think I would go that route. they work about 100 times harder than any newspaper photographer I know (including yours truly) and have terrible schedules (nights, weekends, holidays). one thing they DO have in common with us in the news business...they get paid pretty poorly. and when they shoot sports a lot of times they have to deal with the same crap everyone else does....the credentialed photographer wannabe who gives away photos to sports information.....
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Paul Nelson, Photographer
Temperance | MI | USA | Posted: 5:50 PM on 07.26.07
->> The key way I've found to keep shooting and being financially stable (and not going full-time freelance) is to run a dual-career. I'm heavily into IT, that pays the bills and feeds the family, but my off-hours are heavily into photography. It's tougher - meaning doing more with less time, but at least I'm holding my ground in both areas at this time. I would love to go full-time freelance, but the opportunities are so few in my market to even hold a candle to IT work benefits.

I do have to do things at a slower pace (assignments spread out), or reject a handful of assignments from time to time based on availability, but when I get the opportunities, I try my best to get on assignment as much as possible (sports or otherwise). I'm finding the newspaper industry is getting more difficult, but the only hedge against that is spreading the work around to multiple clients.

Why do I post this? I'm jealous of the photogs who spend all day doing photography. I'd love to do that, but I have a *really* good thing going in IT as well. With the economy the way it has been lately, sometimes you have to take on more than you wanted to just to get to where you want. I've been keeping my photography business growing - and I know that will pay off. It pays to have multiple options, even if it confuses me from time-to-time to figure out my real direction.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Tony Mastres, Photographer
Santa Barbara | Ca | USA | Posted: 6:21 PM on 07.26.07
->> Well now I'm not saying its utopia, just an idea for those being forced (or wanting) out of the newspaper business. Its true any photographer (I can't think of one exception) is going to have to put in odd hours, thats the nature of the business but I have the ability to decline most after-hours jobs if I need to or simply refer them out to freelance. As for the sports, I get paid whether they use my images or not, I don't mind if I get pipped for a photo or two by someone on the outside. I generally find the opposite though, our SID will implore me to be sure I can make it to games or matches he knows he wants photos from becuase he can't rely on those others being there or the quality they'll provide.

Pay wise you're right to a degree, the key to making money in a University setting is longevity, you gotta stick around and move up the ladder. Insurance and the pension plan can do alot to offset a mediocre salary too.

Again, I'm not trying to sell anyone on a job, or trying to make it sond like my job is better than anyone elses (apologies if thats the way it came off) just trying to make a suggestion to people who are in a situation similar to one I was once in. It may be good for some of you and not for others, everyones got their own idea on what a good job is.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Neal Vaughan, Photographer
St. Joseph | MI | usa | Posted: 2:41 AM on 07.28.07
->> I just wanted to say thank you for everyone that posted and also those that emailed me. I got much more advice that I dreamed of. I appreciate it.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Nadine Redd, Photographer
Kansas City | KS | USA | Posted: 8:07 AM on 07.28.07
->> People are getting out and I am looking at ways to get in. I want so bad to shoot on a fulltime basis, but money is the determinig factor with me. I have my "DAY" job and spend my free time working on my photography skills.

Like many here I am constantly researching ways to make my dream become my reality and I do believe someday it will.

Neal I wish you the best in the world, but as some have suggested here do not put down your camera 100%. You are talented.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Gene Kaiser, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 8:52 AM on 07.28.07
->> Hey Wait Equipment envy?? Since I went Canon 4 lenses two bodies... of course there is still that Personal Lowpro backpack full of MY Nikon Stuff (now where is that Nikon to EOS adapter...). Were gonna miss you Neal stay in touch!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Evan Parker, Assistant
Ridgewood | NJ | USA | Posted: 12:23 AM on 07.29.07
->> Neal, I left my newspaper staff position about two months ago for a non-shooting position. And honestly, I feel better than I have in a long time. The newspaper industry provided me with many wonderful experiences, friends and solid fundamentals in photography. I will always carry them with me.
But the time came for me to demand more from my life than the newspaper could offer me. And I basically felt like I out grew the position.
I am still very much involved in the photographic community, and am shooting for myself. But I feel my impact on the world is greater where I am at now, and that makes me feel great.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to email.
Cheers, Evan
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chris Stanley, Photographer
Lansdale | PA | USA | Posted: 9:51 AM on 10.05.07
->> I wanted to revive this thread since it now applies to me, as I am moving to a web editor position at my newspaper (though I plan to still shoot some photos and videos for special projects).

I was wondering if anybody else is undertaking or considering similar moves out of traditional newspaper seems like there have been many ground-shaking changes in the news biz just in the last few months, at least around here.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | Az | USA | Posted: 4:18 PM on 10.05.07
->> I'm able to shoot quite a bit for my newspaper, but I primarily do page design which pays significantly better. In order to move back into a full time shooting slot at another paper, I would be looking at taking a $10-$14,000 a year cut in pay. Plus, I feel I've paid my dues and there is no reason to take less money at this point.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Damon Moritz, Photographer, Photo Editor
Woodbridge | Va. | USA | Posted: 7:38 PM on 10.05.07
->> Just in case anyone is interested I wanted to let you know our office is looking for someone just like you (above). This is a civilian government position in D.C.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Nik Habicht, Photographer
Levittown | PA | USA | Posted: 8:01 PM on 10.05.07
->> I've left --- for nursing school....
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Theresa Scarbrough, Photographer
Laredo | TX | USA | Posted: 9:59 PM on 10.05.07
->> I too have been looking to leave the paper I am at now for awhile. I have been applying to other newspapers mostly, but have had little success in the process. I have talked to a couple of good papers who offered me a gig, but financially I would have continued to hurt myself if I'd taken the position. My student loans, rent, etc. are not going to pay themselves.

Now I am at the point of looking to move back to Chicago and start freelancing, and possibly working in my old field telecommunications. I have VERY mixed feelings about all of this because I like working in the media, I just can't afford to do it anymore! It is what I went to school for and love doing and want to build a solid career in, but money talks in this world.

I have to say I was relieved to see this post to know I am not alone. Thank you.

 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeffery Jones, Photographer, Photo Editor
Gallup | NM | USA | Posted: 10:33 PM on 10.07.07
->> Theresa - I am not relieved to know that we are not alone. I wish we were... a lot of soul searching and back and forth talks with my wife, former staff shooters who have moved on from my paper and even my pastor, and I am no farther ahead in making a decision than before.

I simply LOVE the job. I also simply cannot figure out how to make it financially feasible to stay in the business. I have a two-year old and am tired of having to rely entirely on my wife's income to be able to survive. My car has 195k miles on it. To replace it with even another used car means sacrificing a lot of things that are comforts my wife likes and deserves (like satellite Tv and Sunday NFL ticket, having a house instead of an apartment, eating) since she makes double my salary.

The more I look at leaving for a financially stable future the more I realize that I don't want out. If there is a solution out there I certainly have not discovered it yet.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 1:55 AM on 10.09.07
->> I applied for a job as a welfare fraud dream is to shoot full time and make a full time living at it, but I'm 40 years old and had specific reasons why I didn't earn my degree. I spent 18 years in the mortgage industry (and we all know how well THAT is doing these days), so there's two things I know how to do - analyze finances (investigate) and take pictures (identify). If I get the job, at least I'll be able to arrest people...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 9:27 AM on 10.09.07
->> Unfortunately, this subject has been around almost as long as newspapers and photography. The industry itself forces many of its best people to leave because of the hours, working conditions and low pay. For those of us who went to a J-school, I'll bet we can count on one hand the number who still are in the business -- and maybe on one finger those among them who have a spouse. All of us loved what we were doing, almost as if it was a religion, and there is no camaraderie like that of a good newsroom. But most of us had, like Peter Pan growing up and leaving Neverneverland, had to reluctantly get "real jobs" to pay the bills, stay married and raise a family.

I don't think it's going to get any better, either. The industry already had another major strike against it inherent in its culture, which says if you are a good writer or photographer, you must become an editor to earn respect and make decent money. That took pens and cameras out of the hands of many who were the best at using them and stuck them at desks. Worse, the rise of desktop publishing meant many of them are reduced to page designers and copy editors.

Now the decline of newspapers overall and experiments like Gannett's Information Center -- where the demand for quantity over quality dictates that experienced journalists are taken off the beats where they've learned the language and developed sources, and new journalists are never given a chance to hone real skills -- are just accelerating the decline in demand for good people in the profession.

Freelancing offers the best of both worlds. You get to keep doing what you love; you can set your own hours, and it's extra money on top of a job that pays you what you deserve for your skills and effort. Unfortunately, freelancers rarely have the resources to do the best journalism.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Add your comments...
If you'd like to add your comments to this thread, use this form. You need to be an active (paying) member of in order to post messages to the system.

NOTE: If you would like to report a problem you've found within the website, please let us know via the 'Contact Us' form, which alerts us immediately. It is not guaranteed that a member of the staff will see your message board post.
Thread Title: Leaving the newspaper industry
Thread Started By: Neal Vaughan
Member Login:

Return to -->
Message Board Main Index
What happened when Tony Gonzalez met Mickey Pfleger? Crazy stuff! ::..