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Ask a damn question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Riddick, May 26, 2007.

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  1. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    What's wrong with these people? I'm out covering a game cause I gave most of my crew the weekend off. And while there, mixed in with a bunch of reporters, I notice none of them asked a fuckin question.
    It was a bunch of, "good game coach. you all blah, blah, blah." Then wait in awkward silence for the coach to say something.
    But nobody asked a question. It just amazes me that they did an entire interview without asking one friggin question.
    And the worst was the reporter who said everything that happened in the inning, and at the end of his STATEMENT, says, "tell me about that."
    Don't they teach reporting skills in j-school anymore?
  2. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    There was an assclown today who asked a question in the postgame press deal, then spent another 30 seconds describing how he felt about the game...

    But he's not king in this state...
  4. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    One time I was with a couple of other reporters interviewing a coach and the situation you described happened... the reporter says 'good game coach, blah, blah, blah' pauses to wait for the response and the coach's response is "what's the question?"
  5. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I really just don't get it.
    And I'm sad that people are losing their jobs in this profession, but I really feel as though some of these firings are like trimming the fat.
    because if you're pulling shit like that, you should have never been hired in the first place and you're taking the space of someone who may actually have talent instead of knowing the right person or whatever other bullshit reason someone may have been hired.
    ok, end of rant.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    It is a waranted rant.
    One of the acquired skills of this profession is the art of asking a question. We wonder why so many quotes in so many stories tell us nothing. Well, it's our fault. We let the object of the interview go on for what seems a soliloquy. The quotes are pointless and answer nothing. Most are cliche-filled.
    Ask a question. If it makes the person being interviewed feel uncomfortable, so be it. If it makes the group of reporters feel uncomfortable, so bit it. It is your job.
    Of course, there are tacts and and relationships that need to be fostered on a beat, but be a professional. Not a groupie with a notebook and digital recorder. You're not serving anyone in any capacity.
  7. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    FINALLY! I thought I was the only one annoyed by this. I can't even count how many reporters I have come across that simply say, "Talk about this...", "Talk about that." Basically, what they are saying is, "I have an idea for a quote that would fit perfect in my story. Would you please recite it so I can use it."

    I make it a strict practice to get my quotes by using the standards: Who, what, where, when WHY and HOW!
  8. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    Those are the best type of questions. I admit I'm sometimes guilty of saying, "Tell me about what so-and-so did in (given situation)." But I always try to have a few follow up questions that include, "Why did you call this play/stay with this pitcher/go zone when, etc?" "Why didn't you...?"
  9. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    I like to try to ask the first question and ask, "Your thoughts on your team's play in today's game?" to get the coach or manager talking, then ask a follow-up from what he or she first said. From there I ask, "What do you think made the difference between winning and losing?"

    I ask a specific question if one play decided the game.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    "Talk about" is fine as long as it's relatively specific. "Talk about" the game is not. "Talk about" the fifth inning when you rallied for three runs is better.
  11. I don't think "talk about" is ever excusable. If nothing else, you can say it differently to avoid looking like a nincompoop. Instead of asking player X to "talk about" about his grandfather who was a POW in WW2, ask him "what were the details/circumstances of that?" Elicits the same response. And as for "talk about" the fifth inning, ask "what were you thinking" or "what were you trying to do". Variations on that theme.

    Merely my $0.02. More accomplished journos on this board may disagree.
  12. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I'm not more accomplished, but I agree completely. "Talk about ..." drives me fucking nuts -- almost always leads to boring, bullshit responses.
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