IanTheHumanBein (ianthehumanbein) wrote in beathipsters,

Edward R. Murrow would be flipping his lid

Earlier today I applied for a job that I found on journalismjobs.com.
It is for a newspaper out in Marysville, California, called the Appeal-Democrat. 40 miles north of Sacramento. The classified title really caught my eye, and I made sure that the editor, Len La Barth, knew it. My cover letter went as follows.

Len La Barth,


     While I was scrolling through job listings at journalismjobs.com, your classified ad really caught my eye. It said, "Reporter that wants to make a difference." I must admit, it was quite refreshing to see.

     I currently work at the Warren Times Observer as a sports reporter. I travel to different locations in the area to cover local sporting events, high school sports mostly. I've been trying to break into actual news.

     A few weeks ago, I talked to one of our head news reporters about a great story idea I had. I told him about this elderly lady I know, who came up to me earlier that day. She told me that a city truck had backed into her parked car and did an estimated $4,000 dollars worth of damage to the front of her car. She told me that she contacted the people in charge, and they said that city truck drivers had "immunity" to such incidents. I figured, alright, well are they certified drivers?

     I figured this may be a story that could at least use some investigating. When I ran it by the head new reporter, however, he said, "I get too much money from the city to start sticking my nose in that business."

     Seriously? While this retired lady's insurance rates go up, the city isn't held the least bit accountable? The story idea fell through, even after I told them I would do the story myself. I asked him, "But isn't that what you became a journalist for? To expose everyday injustices such as these?" He just said, he has a wife and kids to support, etc... Which I suppose is valid, but in my mind, Edward R. Murrow would be flipping his lid. This story wasn't as big as the McCarthy scandal or anything, I just mean the spirit of investigative journalism in general.

     So, to re-emphasize what I said earlier, your classified title was a breath of fresh air.

     Attached is a copy of my resume, along with two feature articles that I've done recently. Your publication sounds like a great place to work, and the location sounds like a great place to live. If your skeptical about me coming from so far away, don't be. I will do whatever it takes to come in for an interview, I have been trying to relocate for sometime now, and I would jump at the opportunity to head west.

     Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.




                                                                        Ian Ofslager

Tags: writing techniques
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