FishDuck Sportswriting and Editing Positions
Are we paid for Sportswriting or Editing? Our volunteer Positions and Internships are an unpaid three to five hours a week working for a site that promotes Oregon sports and has been nationally recognized by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Volunteers and Interns often get offered better opportunities and paying jobs at larger websites, newspapers and even professional sports franchises in the NHL and NFL from their time using FishDuck as a platform to show their skills. For many of us–it is simply great fun to write or edit to such a wide audience.
For University of Oregon Students–you can earn upper division credit from your time at FishDuck.
Learn more and join us!
What is FishDuck? Go to the “About Us” page on the site. (Top menu bar or click here)
When do we start? We can start soon–when are you ready?
How long is the Volunteer Position/Internship? It is for minimum of three college terms, or nine months, and students/volunteers can stay as long as they want. We put a ton of time into helping you learn the Media Technology, our way of being a successful sportswriter and editor, and how to improve your writing skills. We need enough contributions back in return for the volunteer hours given to help writers and make worth our investment of time.
Most of our volunteers are not students, but have full-time jobs, families, and other activities but give three to five hours a week to enjoy writing or editing for the benefit of our 30,000 unique readers that come to us every month. We all are doing what we love to do–write and edit!
Do we have to be in Eugene to be in the Volunteer Position/Internship? (Where do I go to do the work?) These positions can be fulfilled anywhere since we are online, as one writer posted his article from Vienna, Austria and another had his published from a remote area of Cambodia. We have had writers and editors from West Virginia to British Columbia and from Quebec to Miami, (all over!) because working online can be anywhere in the world.
You will be taught how use one of most prominent online website platforms, WordPress, used on over four million sites. This is valuable experience with media technology and not only do we teach it to you, but we also provide the pictures (thousands) videos, and documents that give advice. If you can work with a Word Document…then you can operate WordPress. (It is that simple) We also provide a wonderful photo-editing program for free that becomes a lot of fun due to ease of use.
Do you have rules and deadlines that have to be followed?
Yes. FishDuck is in the top 1% in the World for traffic on a monthly basis among all active websites globally. (Confirmed by an Independent third party source every month) To achieve that status–we have content on six days a week and thus depend upon the writers and editors to follow our schedule deadlines. Articles need to be done on time and correctly for the editor, and communications must be timely; we will provide more definition on that to you, but as long as you are not a jerk or flake, but a responsible adult–you will do fine. I love this group of writers and editors we have!
How do I deal with the Nastiness of Readers who Disagree with my Writing or Editing?
Most of the websites out there have comment sections that are cesspools of banal comments and vile abominations hurled at each another. Not at FishDuck as I personally monitor, delete comments and blacklist commenters and you can see our rules are below:
Commenting Rules: “No insults, no belittling, no personal criticizing, no name-calling and even a back-handed compliment will be deleted. Do it twice and you are blacklisted from ever commenting on a FishDuck article ever again. We are the only Oregon site that insists upon civilized discussion; state your case as we welcome all opinions and discussions and want to learn from each other, but we must be polite to fellow Oregon fans.”
The result is best darn comments on any Oregon website as professional people who are superb writers and have astute perspectives have made the comments below the articles as good or better than the articles themselves. These comments have become almost like a message board for high-brow Oregon fans, and we get compliments on this often. All writers, editor and readers who comment on this site are protected. We are unique on the web in that way…
Information for Writers….
As a Writer–how do I submit articles? When? How often? We talk with you about the type of category of article to write, and how often you are comfortable writing them. We place you on the schedule and you will get a link to that schedule so that you can be looking ahead to plan your research and writing. Our writers create an article either once a week, once every four weeks, or once every two weeks of which is the most frequent slot selected. We work with you to fit your schedule to have fun writing about Oregon Sports.
After you place your article in WordPress, an Editor will be looking it over to help with word flow, punctuation, and overall writing advice to help you improve your craft and who is passionate about helping writers improve by catching the little things that people miss.
What are the Writing Openings?
Recruiting Update: Fans want know who Oregon is offering scholarships to for football and basketball, and who is visiting and when. You report on who has committed to Oregon (500 to 1,000 word articles) and provide pictures, screenshots, videos and Twitter of them. (We show you how) There are two subscription sites that we have an agreement with to recycle their recruiting information that is at least 48 hours old, thus you will get information to our readers that most have not seen about recruiting. (This article is created either once every four weeks, or once every two weeks–your choice)
Recruiting Strategy: (every four weeks) You do more than just cover the names in this article but look at the big picture of what is happening with Oregon Football and Basketball recruiting. Note: you must have a passion for recruiting, and be a real recruiting junkie to work on this type article and the Recruiting Update type article. Examples are here, here, here and here.
Op-Eds of Football or Mens Basketball: These are Opinion-Editorials (commentary) about current recruiting for Oregon Football and Basketball, or about the current players, and new recruits that come on board. (500 to 1,000 words) Or simply the direction of the program, the schedule, upcoming games, the coaching– etc. Have fun with it!
(This article is created once week, every other week or every four weeks-your choice, but we prefer every other week to get into a good writing groove. Thus your average time per week would be three hours is all.)
We also have examples of Basketball Op-Eds, and you can view them here, here, here and a final example. To see what Football Op-Eds looks like, see this one, or this one, or another example of a final example.
Player Profile: You look at redshirting freshmen, freshmen who did not play much, and recruits coming in for either Football or Mens Basketball. (These can be done better now than these examples show) You tell their story again since it has been a year or so since we read about them. Add more quotes…make it an interview if you can! Writers have emailed the coach from the high school website and set up a phone interview and received some superb quotes for the article.
Talk to the parents and get some quotes; between the combination of the articles and the quotes—it can be a rich and interesting article. (This article is created once every three weeks and is 500 to 1,000 words)
Or check all the different type of article profiles here we have for the site, as they have examples. See one you like?
Information for Editors…
We talk with you about how often you are comfortable editing and we place you on the schedule and send you the link to that schedule so you can check it at any time. Usually an editor is editing an article one evening a week, and it is between a half hour to an hour. (But we tell everyone three hours a week to be on the safe side)
After a writer you are assigned to loads her/his article into WordPress, you (the editor) will be looking it over to help with word flow, punctuation, and overall writing advice to help the writer improve. Recently we had a writer get linked by a huge sports site, (Incredible exposure for the writer!) and he stated that it was the editor who offered advice who was the difference. This is fun to be a part of!
As an Editor–do I have to do Fact-Checking…or major Rewriting of articles? No on both questions! If a writer is lazy and gets busted on a fact by a reader—he/she is on a short leash with us. It is the job of writers to get the facts correct as our editors do NOT have the time to look up their topic; editors are to do what they like to do—edit!
The editor is not to do major rewriting for the writer, but if a new writer submits something that needs a lot of work? It gets sent back with advice on how to improve; we also provide a “Common Errors” document where you can write in an email to her/him to “go to No. 19 in the document and apply it to the second sentence of the fourth paragraph.” This way you do not have to write out a long explanation and give examples…and do it every week. We have that written out already!
Editors are to help with punctuation, sentence flow, and the awkward combination of words that sometimes writers need help with. (Like me)
When is time to edit? I’m on Eastern time! No problem, as we have had other editors in the Eastern time zone as well. Our deadline is 3:00 PM Pacific for an article that is to be published the next morning, so an editor can go in any time after the writer has let him/her know that the article is loaded and finished.
Let’s assume that there are some items that need to be changed? You would send an email to the writer with the bullet points of changes and then you would call or text the writer to let her/him know to check their email. (This way emails won’t sit for hours) Then the writer goes in and makes the changes. All is to be done at 9:00 PM Pacific for publication the next day. If it is not—the writer has a problem after that, not the editor!
Do I have to manage or discipline writers? No…If a writer makes the same mistake three times—you let me know and we talk to the writer from there. If you are interested in Management at FishDuck over time—those opportunities are available as well.
What style of editing do you use? We primarily use AP style with a bit a FishDuck variations that we would inform you of in advance.
When do I edit? How often? Either one or two nights or week, and we are flexible with your schedule and editors trade nights for events /vacations, etc. that emerge. We’ll work with you!
What’s in it for me?
Editors never ask that question, but I want to offer it nonetheless. The quality of the site is maintained by the editors, and the impact on the lives of writers by these volunteer editors cannot be measured. If you like to teach and help others–this can be very enriching to you as I will attest. “Writers like to create, while editors like to perfect.” It’s true.
A new feature we just added is an Editor Credit below each article, so that everyone knows this article looks great because of the time put in by a gracious editor. An example is below…
Bob Rodes, the FishDuck. Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester Tennessee.
For Both Writers and Editors to Know….
When you leave FishDuck later….you will be a better writer or editor, a master of Media Technology, and you will have an online portfolio available to show employers at any time!
What is in it for you guys at FishDuck? Good question as we are simply a group of fans who are passionate about writing, editing, and our beloved Ducks and we want to share it with our readers! Mr. FishDuck loses money on the site and does it as a hobby. (It is his boat)
How to Apply: Email Charles Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org and email a cover letter and resume indicating which position(s) you are applying for. Please highlight relevant experience. Writing applicants should also submit two writing samples, and if you can’t–create a new article on a Word Document and send it along.
For the Retired? The majority of our writers are passionate Oregon fans who have full time jobs, families, and other interests (Some are even retired) yet weave in some time to write about their beloved Ducks every two or four weeks.)
FishDuck is an all-volunteer site serving 30,000 unique readers a month and visitors from more than 50 countries who read our articles. We seek to educate and entertain our readers with Football Analysis, Opinion articles with an emphasis of feedback coming from those who have been or currently are being paid to coach football.
We have been interviewed and cited/quoted as a source by the Wall Street Journal, and twice have been featured in prominent articles in the Online Sports Section of The Washington Post for our contributions to fans and coaches wanting to learn about the Oregon Spread Offense. FishDuck has even been accredited by Google News as an official Oregon Sports news source. Our football instructional videos have been viewed more than a Million times and we are UO Media Credentialed, sitting on Press Row in the Autzen Press Box and Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene.
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)