1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

A complaint that just completely blindsided me

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of the football coaches whose team I cover. He was not happy with the coverage his team was received compared to the other teams at the school. He said it seemed like every other team at the school received outstanding coverage, photos, etc. and for some reason his team did not.
    There has been something in the paper each week about his team, typically a 15-25-inch story. Somebody has been to every one of the games but one which I got by phone. There have not been any photos in the last few weeks but there were plenty earlier in the season.
    The team is doing well, winning its last five games and if it wins the last two it will be in the playoffs for the first time since 1978. My plan is to go big prior to that last regular season game with features, previews, etc.
    The coach is actually a pretty good guy. I've never had a problem with him which is why this kind of caught me by surprise.
    Within the past three months, we've launched a new layout template that involves a rail down the left side of the paper which contains a roundup, scores and a schedule. None of that is supposed to jump.
    In the remaining four columns, we have the main story and one or two others. I haven't found a way to fit more into that part of the paper.
    One thing I've found over the past few months is that the readers don't seem to like the new layout. Nobody wants to see their team in the rail, but something has to go there. This week, because there was a lot of state tournament soccer and volleyball, football was in the rail.
    It's funny, there are some teams that have not been in the paper every week for various reasons (usually coaches not reachable) and teams that are covered every week feel like they're being shortchanged.
    I'll admit, maybe I don't go big with some stories when I probably should, but I'm not a shout-it-from-the-mountaintops kind of guy.
    I was planning on covering that team's game tonight, but now I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't just to make a point.
  2. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Yeah, don't go...that'll show 'em
  3. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    I'll summarize this for everyone else who comes to read it:

    "Coach complains, bla bla bla bla bla. I'm feeling vindictive."

    Explain your situation to the coach and keep doing what you're doing. If he doesn't like it, tough beans.
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    You launched a new layout style. It's inconvenient for you, and the readers don't like it. And apparently it's at least tangentially related to your having a coach pissed off at you.

    So why are you keeping it? Because rails are cool? Because whoever designs your pages likes it? Because you saw one on Newseum and thought it looked spiffy? Because someone in your office is too stubborn to admit they made a mistake?

    If the readers don't like it, and it has a negative affect on your coverage, then stop using it.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Go. The dispute is between the coach and you, not the players.
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    You just laid out your argument, or reasons, on here.

    Call the coach to discuss it like adults and tell him the same things. Show him, if necessary.

    If he still doesn't like it then move on. Do your job and let him be a whiny ass.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    A picture is worth 1,000 words. So if you aren't shooting games while the team has been on a winning streak but still writing 15-25 inch stories, you still are about 600 words behind.

    That's why the coach is pissed. Be a pro and go. If you let criticism get to you in this job, you might as well get a shovel and start digging your grave.
  8. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    If you're doing this job to be popular, you're in the wrong job. The coach, of all people, should understand that.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    So his stories were 15-25 inches before the rail, and now his stories are smaller?

    I'm guessing the number of columns the headlines for their stories receives has dropped?

    Strange thing about readers, 90 percent of them thinks a good write up is nothing but size of the story. If the stories look smaller when they clip them out and hang them up, they might bitch.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I don't even think it should have to be said, but I guess it does: Go to the game. Don't be "making a point" with your coverage, particularly to make a point to one guy.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I would tell him that what a coach wants is never a factor. Candy and flowers won't make you go to a game and a punch in the nose won't make you stay away. You base all your decisions on what you believe most readers want, and not all of your readers care about his team.
  12. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    I'd annex the Sudentenland.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page