Market Size vs. the News You’re Covering
By Lynn Walsh
By: Jacqueline Ingles
Not a day goes by where I don’t here an intern say, “I want to make it to market one, New York!”
Many people overlook that it is not the market you work in but the news you cover. In my personal experience, no one wanted to work in my Valdosta, Georgia, bureau. Sure, we were connected to Tallahassee, market 105. In reality, we were market 140. But, guess what? In the year I spent there, we had six homicides in less than eight weeks, historic flooding and a horrific crash on I-75. Not one reporter in Tallahassee had those reporting opportunities and experiences. After one year, market 47 called and I was on my way to Austin, Texas.
One of the markets I always like to point to is El Paso, Texas. A border city, for a long time it was ranked market 99. With the international news coverage opportunities, national stories including boarder wars, drug related issues, etc, those reporters and anchors are launching out of that market right into top 5 jobs. So, the next time you snub a low ranking market job, rethink it. Instead of looking at number, ask the following questions:
1) What types of news does the station cover?
2) Is there a variety where I can cover a lot of different topics on a daily basis?
3) Is there room for creative and storytelling or is more of a nuts and bolts market?
4) Is there room to push yourself and do stories you are passionate about?
I found what I was passionate about in Austin. Here is my crowning glory package that did appear on my demo real for Tampa.
As a one-woman-band, I knew I had to work harder than a two man crew. But, pounding pavement, thinking outside the box and creativity led me to an exclusive that left other stations in the dust. In other words, I was in a market that gave me opportunity. Opportunity and experience are what you should look for because as you rise in markets (which you will), the opportunities lessen and you are more tied to a specific role and a specific beat.
Tags: advice, broadcast news, career, Careers, employment, entry level positions, Gen J, Gen Jers, generation j, job, job hunting, journalism, journalist, journalists, keeping your job, news, newsroom, newsrooms, reputation, Society of Professional Journalists, spj, storytelling, tv news, young journalists, young reporters