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Getting a Job by Blogging About “Gossip Girl”

Are you a young writer trying to break into the media industry, but can’t find that first big break? Try blogging a recap to a television show.

It’s a world that’s brand new to the media scene, but can lead to high-profile posts since they’re typically used to drive traffic. The live blogging of television shows has exploded in recent years, from recaps of “Top Chef” to synopses of “Mad Men,” pretty much any popular television show has a voice in the blogosphere recapping episodes as it unfolds. And as the New York Observer Dan Duray points out, it’s a way for new talent to get into the industry for the first time.

But for young writers hoping to get a foot in the door, the increased demand for recappers can only be viewed as a good thing—after all, it’s a paycheck and it beats, say, fact-checking, being a paralegal or waiting tables in terms of literary gratification.

Duray’s piece also included a story of one Wall Street Journal recapper, Hillary Busis, who just recently graduated from Columbia University. The WSJ asked her to give her take on “Gossip Girl,” and she jumped at the chance.

“I don’t really remember how he knew that I watched it but I wrote back right away and I said, ‘Sure,’ because it sounded awesome since I was going to be watching it anyway,” said Busis to the Observer. “Then all the sudden I got another email saying, ‘Can you be our regular Gossip Girl recapper?’ and I was like, ‘Sure.’”

Whatever works to get the job, no? But the skills needed for a television recap seems to translate well into the regular media space. You need to be unique in both analysis and presentation, while having the ability to write on tight deadlines. What better way to prepare for a career while watching TV?

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