I promise this will be the last post we do on the topic of unpaid work in the sports journalism business.
Mike Missanelli invited me on his show this afternoon to talk about the Jane Slater controversy of Monday afternoon and discuss the column I wrote about it. My opinion is that you should take unpaid work if you can, because the experience and opportunity can be more valuable than money. But it’s not necessary to do unpaid hours to get a foot in the door and become successful in sports media. There are many different paths one can follow.
Mike and Tyrone came at me pretty hard, (Tyrone was more fair) and I tried valiantly to fend off the 2v1 attack, like Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, but you can listen to the audio for yourself and be the judge:
It was a tough one; I’m not gonna lie. I was pushed into a corner and had to remain STEADFAST in my belief that the United States is a country that rewards hard work, risk taking, and skill development. Talented and motivated people often make it while others fail. It doesn’t mean the people who succeed did so only because of “privilege,” though of course you find scenarios where rich silver spoon kids were born with an advantage. The fallacy is thinking that everyone starts on third base, because we don’t. Most average white kids from the suburbs work shitty jobs with shitty hours and pay their dues just like everybody else.
But yeah, sports journalism is tough. It’s a hard field to break into. The jobs are scarce and the work is non-essential. You have to go above and beyond to make yourself stand out. The great thing now is that anybody can start a podcast, do a Youtube show, or build a Twitter following. There are unique avenues to traverse for risk takers who are smart and enterprising.
Good talk though.