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Ask A Damn Question (Continued)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Your Huckleberry, May 28, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Personally I hate it when I'm in a gaggle and I'm the only one asking questions.
    Especially when it is a bunch of TV cameramen types sent by the station to get footage and ride the print reporter's back for the Q&A.
    Since I'm not often on a tight deadline, I'll often let the daily deadline types get in and get out so then I could ask longer form questions. But I'm a rarity.
    If I'm on deadline, and for a sports story, I'll grab a player or two first, then hit the coach after everyone else has scattered.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    OK, Riddick, let's go back to your original post and see if I have this right:

    You covered an event (on whatr level?) and were part of a group going to interview the coach after the event. Others in the group just babbled on without asking a question. You stood there and said ..... nothing?
    You didn't interrupt to ask the question(s) you had because you didn't want the idiots to be able to use "your" quotes?
    What if, in the course of the idiots just talking with the coach instead of asking him questions, the coach had said something significant to the story you were writing? Would you not have used it because it wasn't "your" quote?
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    So, how long have you been a deleted thread?
  4. Babs

    Babs Member

    Let go of the "your" quote idea. Ownership is not the issue. You are continually missing the point to focus on this.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Why is that Babs. Riddick was the one who said he didn't want people using 'MY QUOTES"

    Others have supported the position that if they're the ones asking the questions, they don't want other people to piggyback on the quotes.

    My point is, if you are doing a game story and you have a deadline to deal with, your job is to ask the questions you need to ask to get the story or enhance the story that you are about to write, and then file that story in a timely manner to make deadline.
    That means doing your job and not standing around stewing over the way other people do theirs.

    If you are not working on a story on deadline, fine, let the idiots get done with whatever they're doing, and then go ask your questions, That's the way it should be done.
    But, once again, different people work in diferent ways. Doesn't necessarily make one guy right and one guy wrong.
  6. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Thank you Babs.
    After listening to the coach babble and toss cliches in response to the questions that weren't asked (though I did ask two of my own questions), I went to conduct other interviews I needed for my story. Then, when the crowd diminished with the original coach, I finished my interview.
    The event was preps softball. I was covering the game because I gave most of my staff off for the holiday weekend since a lot of them have families and graduations to attend to and I didn't have any pressing plans for the weekend. Plus, I've been sick of being stuck behind a desk.
  7. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I'll usually put a "Your thoughts on the game tonight coach?" to start off before getting into more detailed questions. And the PC's I've been in its been rare that someone has asked something I've found idiotic.

    I have heard, on occasion, from some coaches I cover regularly when following up on games I wasn't at that the stringer we sent out aksed some of the stupidest questions he'd heard in a while. But that's the trouble with having a ton of games on one night. Sometimes the help isn't too good.
  8. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    The idea of a writer's ownage of a quote is ridiculous. Especially in a press conference or a scrum. Unless you have an exclusive story, ask the question. If you have the exclusive, there are ways to ask questions without showing your hand.

    That said, spnited was right with what he posted on the first incarnation of this thread. Why does it affect you if someone doesn't ask a question in a press conference? For all you know, maybe he was getting Coach X's cliche's while having good stuff from a player. Focus on you and your job.

    It seems as if the industry has gotten wrapped up in a cock-measuring "Which writer got what?" contest Who cares? Certainly, readers don't say, "Gee, Bob Smith of The Daily Dishrag quoted Player X as saying he hates not playing." Give the readers something to read instead of giving ourselves reacharounds for doing our jobs.
  9. Riddick, that "Proud Parent" feeling you have, Talk about It.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Two questions Riddick:
    I repeat, if in the midst of the babbling and coachspeak and cliches with the idiots (and I have no doubt it was completely annoying), the coach had made a comment that was significant to what you were going to write, would you have used it, even if it wasn't "my quote?" And did you really get significantly better quotes when you went back to the coach on your own, or just more coachspeak? (these guys usually are very consistent when it comes to spewing cliches)

    And really, was this really a "gangbang interview" after a high school softball game? I doubt there were dozens of writers there. Probably more like 3 or 4.
  11. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    "Talk about" questions work for the reasons Moddy said they did in the other thread. Have a conversation, don't just fire questions. Many subjects recoil at a line of inquiry that involves no flow or attempt at conversation, as anyone who has ever covered high schools or colleges knows.

    I'm glad the overthinking of "NEVER call a coach, "coach!" " hasn't come up yet. Call them coach if you need to. It does happen to be their title, you know.

    As for the original thread: yes, ask a damn question yourself if the line of inquiry irritates you. And my attitude is hey, I'll ask this question because I seek the answer. And if someone else thinks it's a good quote, then I guess I'll just have to write a better story than that person, who couldn't come up with their own frackin' idea.

    My only major pet peeves when it comes to gang-bang interviews involve someone turning your one-on-one after practice into a multi-reporter interview without asking or at least showing body language that indicates they're willing to wait if you are getting something you deem exclusive. The answer is always yes for me, but it just makes sense to at least show that respect for one's fellow journalist.

    Or of course, the classic situation where a post-practice or post-game gang-bang interview gets derailed by some bozo who asks five consecutive questions, all for a specific angle he is pursuing, shortly before the PR guy says "OK, that's all, everyone."
  12. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    All good points, Piotr. I'm not big on the "talk about ..." approach but it can work.

    Again, different ways of doing the job doesn't make one more right or more wrong than the other.
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