Q: I recently graduated from J-school and have am currently looking for a job. After three internships, two of which were at major metro dailies, I've got a stack of very strong clips to choose from.
My first question relates to how recent clips should be. One of the stories I'd like to include was almost three years ago. It's a long feature story for a large weekly paper. The story broke news, which was picked up a few weeks later by one of the metros I later interned at. I've been told not to use this clip because it's so old, however it's a stellar article and is a good example of my investigative reporting skills. What is your recommendation on using this story in job applications?
My second question relates to using clips that contain information from the Associated Press. During my most recent internship, I worked the night shift and was often assigned stories at the last minute. It was the paper's policy that reporters could include whatever information they needed from the wires as long as they put a tagline a the bottom of the story stating that some of the information came from the AP. Normally I would skip using articles of that nature in my clip packet, but there's one I'd like to use. The story is 27 inches long and contains two quotes from industry analysts and about four inches of rewritten AP information. The story was also written on an extremely tight deadline and included some very creative reporting on my part. Again, what is your recommendation on using this story for job applications?
Buried in clips
A: You seem to feel strongly about the three-year-old clip. So, include it. But make sure all the others are fresh.
As for the one with an AP contribution, attach a short note telling the editors you interview with just what you told me. You might even indicate the small portion that came from AP so they can tell which parts are yours.