Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Don't Know Either (Just Being Honest)

An excellent interview with sportswriter Frank Deford, apparently done as part of a bookstore promotion. Deford talks about his advice to sportswriter -- and, I suppose, newspaper -- wannabes.

I used to have a stock answer. It was easy to say, "You have to get as much writing done as you possibly can because it's important to show your clips. You get out of college, you may want to go to journalism school."

I can just hear myself saying this. "I'm not sure that's necessary, but it's good on a resume. And then you're going to have to go out to the boondocks somewhere, but if you're any good, it'll show itself. That's one thing about this business. You'll move up."

I used to be able to say that, but I can't anymore.

I don't have any idea what newspapers are going to stay in business. I got a call two or three weeks ago from one of the best sports columnists in the country. The top of the tree, this guy. He says, "I think they're going to let me go." Downsizing. "You got any ideas?" And I'm thinking to myself, No, because every other place is downsizing, too.

I don't even know how you recommended anybody get into the business these days. They're walking off a cliff. Something's going to survive out there, we all know that, but I sure as hell don't know what it is.

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