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A Little Life Lesson From a WVU Grad

WALLINGFORD CT- Carl Josephson is learning what it takes to be a staff writer for a local newspaper. The recent graduate of WVU studied print writing while attending school and is now using his skills as a sports writer for the New Britain Herald, a medium sized paper in New Britain Connecticut.
While he has only been at the paper for around two months, he said he has learned a lot about the profession and how to do well in it.
“Pay attention. I think that covers a lot of it, “ Josephson said. “Know what you’re doing when you start because you’re expected to know it, that’s why they hired you. And when they show you something make sure you pick up on it the first time so you will be able to do it the next time you’re asked.”
As a sports writer Josephson said he works most nights. Going into the office at around four or four thirty p.m., five days a week, then going out and covering local high school sporting events. Then coming back to the office to write up to three different versions of the story, with at least one being for the ten thirty p.m. deadline.
He also communicates on a daily basis with three different editors and executives above him.
He mentioned that he doesn’t always cover the same events, at the same schools so it gives him a little variety with his writing. And because there are so many sports in
the fall he could have multiple stories in the paper on any given day. However because football is so big in the area surrounding the paper, each sports writer is assigned one specific high school in order to build a relationship with the team, coaches, and players.
Josephson recalled a game last week where he covered Friday night football at a local high school. He went into the office in the late afternoon, then traveled the twenty minutes to the high school for the seven p.m. game. During the game his responsibilities are to take stats, notice key plays in the game, write the story, and after the game talk to coaches and players for their insights.
But since the games start and end so late, it is very close to the deadline, Josephson was too far from the office to go back finish and submit it, so he had to drive around to find somewhere that had wireless in order to submit his piece on time. He eventually found a Dunkin Donuts and that had Internet and was able to make it work. He said the deadlines are a more difficult part of the job. His paper has earlier deadlines than others so stories have to be finished and submitted that much quicker.
Josephson also has responsibilities to help set up the paper with correct page layouts and pictures along with writing to make sure the paper gets out on time.
He stated that the hours can be tough because they are a bit inconvenient and that he would prefer a more normal schedule but he was happy to be fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to write for a paper twenty minutes from his hometown.
Josephson stated, “I’m just happy to be doing what I love and what I went to school for. A lot of people can’t say that now with competition being so crazy so I’m happy and lucky to have found something I enjoy.”

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