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A shift in power

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    I got an email from an upset reader this morning whose son's name wasn't mentioned in a youth soccer blurb. Eleven of the 13 players were mentioned, and although it was listed, I must have just glanced over it. So there was no surprise I received an email about it from the parent, who actually submitted it.

    Five years ago, I would have shrugged this off and said, "Sorry about the omission, but it already ran and we can't run it twice." Nowadays, with circulation shrinking at a torrid pace, I'm more apt to say, "We can run it again with the two names in there." It was only about 6 inches, or so, and I'm not going to risk losing a subscriber over this.

    Which brings me to the point that readers now hold the power in these situations. Sure, we still use journalistic integrity (which in this case doesn't really have bearing), but we don't really have a leg to stand on if we all want jobs in 10 years.

  2. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I feel very sorry for you if this is an issue.

    Those are my thoughts.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

  4. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    The life of a sports editor at a small, family-owned daily .... "It's FAAAANNTASTIC!"
  5. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Whatever power they have is granted. The complaints aren't changing. Perhaps if they're more aggressive about exploring other avenues to force your hand, but there's always been the frequent advertiser, publisher's buddy and Important Person in the Community.

    I'd go so far as to say making things right demonstrates more integrity, journalistic or otherwise, than acknowledging a mistake and then not acting on it.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I interned at a place where they would have freaked out to get a call like this and that was a paper that was over 100K circ.

    At my first job (400K+ circ) I remember getting a pissy call from a preps parent and asking my editor what I should do to rectify the situation and he said, "I'm impressed you didn't tell her to stick it."
  7. Mitch E.

    Mitch E. Member

    There's probably something wrong if we're starting to think about who holds the power -- journalists or readers. Our job is to serve them and inform them. Unfortunately they can be a pain in the ass, but it doesn't mean we should ignore them or assume they are wrong.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I have seen sports editors who will stand up to any GM or coach or athlete that just buckle at the knees if they have to deal with an angry prep parent.
  9. Mitch E.

    Mitch E. Member

    Because the prep parent knows exactly what to do: Climb the chain of command and eventually the AME, the ME, the EE or even the publisher will tell the SE to make the parent happy. Even if the parent is wrong. The SE knows the drill and it's just easier to cut it off early. So who holds the power? Well, your bosses do. Just like in any other job. But don't pretend that you hold any sort of power over the readers.
  10. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    To the parent...

    Are they going to play again? Be sure to get their names in then. Maybe you should consider being the person who does the game submissions.

    Our space in the newspaper has a monetary value, and to rerun the same story twice is not cost effective to the business model of the newspaper. Also, each team has a designated person to submit information. If we had 3-4 parents from each team submitting names and information, that would create errors and confusion in the reporting.

    Have a nice day.
  12. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    Are they really going to drop their subscription? No.
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