Journalist Losing Hope for the New Year. He Can’t Get Hired in Chicago.

By Mick Gregory

I’ve been highlighting some items from Joe Grimm “the newspaper recruiter” at the Detroit Free Press and now a daily columnist at Poynter.

Take a look at this poor stiff, who is finding his J-school degree can’t even get him an entry level job at the ring of low-level suburban newspapers in the outskirts of Chicago. He signs his letter “Stymied.”

Why Can’t I Get a Job in Chicago?
Q. I will graduate with a journalism degree in May. I’d like to work in the Chicago area, but have had no luck finding a job.

I’ve freelanced for the Daily Herald, interned at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well as a specialty magazine and the Milwaukee business weekly. I have extensive experience as editor of a campus newspaper and also have multimedia experience in video, Web and print design.

The Daily Herald seems to have a hiring freeze, the Sun-Times and Tribune are not for entry-level journalists and I never see any job openings listed for the Sun-Times News Group papers in the suburbs or the Northwest Herald. The JS just offered a bunch of buyouts and I haven’t seen many openings yet.

Should I expect to see openings on job boards for any of these papers, or should I be sending my clips and resumes blindly to these papers? Is it realistic for a journalist to have a job lined up months in advance, like business students?

Thank you,


Mr. Grimm’s response:
A. It is frustrating, when you have friends who are in business or law, to see them get offers so far in advance. Journalism just doesn’t work that way — especially in recent years, when budgets are more nip and tuck.

Your biggest hurdle is focusing on one of the nation’s most competitive media markets. People who are determined to start their careers in a major city, especially New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Chicago, are trying to compete with veterans who have worked years to get there. For many of them, those cities are home.

Mr. Grimm, Stymied knows that. He is trying to get hired by one of the suburban papers. He doesn’t even have the self worth to send a resume to the Sun Times or Tribune.

How can you look yourself in the mirror? You are lower than a “pre-need” casket salesman.

Mick’s advice: get some real education in IT, engineering, maybe even law, while you work at whatever you can, hopefully on Web projects. Businesses need help with their communications.

Don’t let a bad career choice ruin your whole life. Grimm isn’t going to tell you the truth about the dismal condition of the newspaper industry. Good luck.

49 thoughts on “Journalist Losing Hope for the New Year. He Can’t Get Hired in Chicago.

  1. Perhaps tell him that to make it in the big cities, you have to think baseball: first do your time in the minor leagues – the small towns, learning the ropes for little pay, in order to prove to yourself and others that you’re ready for the big leagues.

    Ian of Eastern Europe,
    The baseball example doesn’t work very well. Even minor league baseball players make double what newspaper journalists average. Then, after working free internships and entry level jobs for five or 10 years, the “journos may make it to the majors, to make $50,000 a year with no chance for advancement and no future.

    Now papers are outsourcing copy editor jobs to India. You must work for the government. You really are clueless. Tell us what you do? Work for the German DMV?

  2. Ian,
    I just got back from the DMV. That is a perfect example of Big Brother/Big Sis know best. It’s what socialized health care will look like if there are enough voters like you in the U.S. to elect Hillary/Obama. Tell us about your perfect socialist system.

  3. Mick:
    Interesting article. Quite sad about this young fellow, but this sort of thing is not just happening in the journalist field. Other fields as well, seem not to be hiring folks who spend a lot of money to go to college and learn their profession, only to have difficulty finding a job in that field. Especially disconcerting is the fact that employers will state they “don’t have enough experience” – even when they were “top of the class”. Now how can a guy or a gal get experience in their field they trained and studied for without working in it?
    Hope your Christmas was good and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year in 2008.

  4. Mick,
    Like I said, you are so hilarious! Hamburg has always been in the western part of Germany. You know, the part that was there before the wall came down? Eastern Europe is now firmly in the camp of the Bush administration, or haven’t you been paying attention for the past decade?

    So have you figured out your glaring error in the other post yet?

    Thanks for pointing that out. I put all of Germany in Eastern Europe. You should know your history, Germany and the Austrian Empire were always at war with Western Europe. Poland has more Western attitudes than your socialist countrymen and their economy is booming. So you are right, I must not call you an Eastern or Central European.

    I don’t use spell check. I should for people like you who would rather discuss that than your backward BIG BROTHER politics.

  5. Mick,
    How on earth am I supposed to have an intelligent debate or discussion with someone who keeps changing what I write in the comments? You show a complete lack of integrity in doing that, you know.

    Duface from Dusseldorf,
    We try to keep this popular Web site clean and high brow. Continuous balking at the issues and antisocial remarks are often cleaned up. Some web editors would just zap a negative dimwit like you. May I ask what you do for a living?

  6. Mick,

    The hatred and spite you direct at mainstream journalism in general, and journalists in particular, leads me to believe that you wanted to be a journalist, but failed to make the grade.

    And I don’t believe you should blame the “liberal media” in your lack of succes, or the job market. There is always a market for good people in any market. Why don’t you go get a job at Fox News? Or aren’t they right-wing enough for you?

    Oh, and btw: do you often find it a successful strategy to insult people by calling them a dimwit, and them ask them for information? Didn’t work this time.

    Do try to gather the guts not to change this.

    I have worked for some of the top newspapers and Web sites in the “major leagues.” We have had a nice little tool called spellcheck for the past 20 years (at least). Many journalists and columnists I worked with were poor or just average spellers. Major media is now outsourcing the cleanup duties of copy for print and the Internet to India.

    The best journalists have their own “smellcheck.” That can’t be outsourced or programed. I follow NBC, ABC, the BBC, CNN and FOX News. You are right, of all the major media, I would prefer to work for FOX, but I’m not looking to switch jobs right now.

    BTW- I set in bold your spelling errors and redundancies. I left your “hateful” insults here as well. Now, can you share with us what you do for a living? You have to be on a government payroll. Am I right? Please share with us! Does it involve cleaning bathroom stalls?

  7. It’s good to see someone calling out Joe Grimm for his “master of the obvious” comments. My personal fave is when someone writes in and says he/she doesn’t want to live hundreds of miles from the significant other. Joe’s response: Tap dance for a few grafs, then suggest they both get journalism jobs in the same city.

    Um, Joe: They can’t. That’s why the guy/gal wrote to start with.

    But Joe and many others at Poynter simply don’t want to admit how bad the market is. They just want to maintain the illusion that they, and they alone, have the solutions.

    Please keep highlighting the Grimm ideas. No one in the journalism industry is questioning his shallow tips.

  8. I believe that if many of the news outlets would focus on delivering some semblance of the truth, their circulation would be up and they wouldn’t be in so much trouble.

    And Ian… the drycleaner in Hamburg called… Your “brown shirts” are ready!

  9. Good one! You know the Nazi/Socialist troll is still reading. Maybe he will come out of hiding. I imagine he is at a free WiFi coffee shop in a Berlin suburb, smoking pot and drinking St. Paulie Girl.

  10. Simply want to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness to your publish is simply excellent and i
    can assume you are knowledgeable in this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to snatch your RSS feed to stay up to date
    with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the
    gratifying work.

  11. For beginners, I would spend aftdrnoons perusing Pinterest,
    home decorating startd off simply as changing the light
    home maintenance bulbs that are in solid, one-tone, neutral
    shades. If you are wondering where to find home decorating fabric.
    There are several computer designing programs
    that allow you to begin your home decorazting project!

  12. Other used car dealerships that for the rest of the money from banks, private loan lending companies or from online lenders.
    Instead of several single advertisements one could go
    to a used vehicle. However, as long as you take a wire brush to the rusty place you’ll brush away the rust and reach free metal.

    Once they are aware of the quality of the vehicles in the years that followed.

  13. Eight glpass of water should be your goal, drinking
    an additional 8 oz for every 20 minutes of exercise performed
    that day. Gently massage your skin, chin and temples in round, circular
    motion. Skin of the facxe is certainly insightful and itt will come in czll with pollution, dirt, ultra violet rays etc.

  14. Ketoacidosis had emerge and she was extremely blessed to wake-up.
    Consult your physician how you can plan ahead and modify any medication serving for
    your holidays. Astragalus was called huang qi in traditional Chinese medicine.

  15. What is the very best program of action to consider?
    This has already hailed criticism: “Where are the improvements,” asks the net community.
    That caused the business’s shares to go up significantly.

  16. Always select those components that take working hours to cook.
    His goal is to confirm the safety and clarify the mechanism of action of the green bean.

    The truth is that coffee isn’t your biggest concern; it is toxins of all kinds.

  17. You can customize them with high resolution images from their
    galleries, or add your personal images! Yesterday they drove to work together in her car.
    Following this, you exit and the gadget will restart.

  18. On the cydia page, choose the Obtain Deals button at the leading.
    Yes! jailbreak is a simple and safe too. It is also equipped with
    a electronic compass and assisted GPS.

  19. Make sure to make programs take action pleasant when exercising so that it won’t
    be so simple to give it up. They’ll then send you a software.
    There’s no longer just one diabetes diet that can suit everybody.

  20. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site.
    I am hoping to view the same high-grade content
    from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has
    inspired me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  21. Terrific post however , I was wondering if you
    could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little
    bit further. Appreciate it!

  22. Unlocking indicates that you will be in a
    position to use your phone with any cellular
    network supplier in the world. The app tray is divided into apps
    and widgets, growing the easiness of usability.

  23. Hi! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article
    to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  24. Moreover you can include ring-tones for your calls and messages.

    You merely just faucet every you want to activate,
    then click on “Respring.” I like to combine and match. Yet you buy it for a
    fraction of the retail price.

  25. Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the
    images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its
    a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  26. You have a very good point of view here.Forskolin originated from a herb located throughout India, Asia and Indonesia and used found in Ayurvedic medicines.
    This place appearance is usually yellow and
    pumpkin shaped. The many common company name for this seed is usually Gambooge.

    In Asia or throughout some other components of the planet, this
    herb is utilised to conserve various foodstuffs as very well
    as a preparation for certain food items delicancy.

  27. is a trusted QQ Online poker Online and Bandar Ceme
    Online wagering site that provides online card games such as Online Texas Hold’em, DominoQQ, Capsa Online, Ceme Online, Ceme99, Online Gambling Online Online Poker
    Sites. QQ Online Poker Ceme, the most effective and best online texas
    hold’em representative site with 1 day IDN Online Online poker solution. For those of you Lovers of the game Online Online
    and that wish to play betting Online Online poker, Online Ceme, Domino QQ, City Ceme, Online
    Gambling, Bandar Capsa Online in 1 ID

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s