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Attention: Web site folks who put sports copy online

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Please stop doing sloppy crap like this (the ending of Kevin Scarbinsky's column for The Birmingham News, as posted online):

    Some UAB supporters have suggested that some trustees desire/demand UAB coaches with Alabama ties in the high-profile sports of football and basketball, but that's an unfair shot at hoops coach Mike Davis.

    He came to Birmingham with head coaching experience at one of the nation's top programs in Indiana. He came to UAB with head coaching credentials topped by a Final Four trip.

    When Davis came, UAB basketball got fired up.

    If/when Callaway comes, UAB football might go down in flames. Kevin Scarbinsky's column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Write him at kscarbinsky@bhamnews.com

    No, I'm not Kevin Scarbinsky, but again and again and again and again and fucking forever and again I see columns end like this online, with the columnists' info as part of the last paragraph, and I just want to scream at someone. I've seen it on many other sites too. Move the columnists' info down a line, as its own paragraph!

    How hard is it to show a little attention to detail? And if we are headed for online-only presentation one day, is this the kind of sloppy shit we can look forward to? Or will editors suddenly start caring? Is anyone else bothered by crap like this? To me, any good column where the writer nails the ending (and I am not necessarily saying Kevin does so here) is robbed a bit by this awkward "final graf."

    OK. End of rant. I feel better now.

    Oh, and extending the theme a bit more widely, how long before our columns online have the type of Google ads within them, with keywords underlined and hyperlinked as you see in the excerpt above?
  2. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    There are words there. What do you mean that's not the end of the story?

    Seriously, very frustrating here. But it's because copy is not really been read enough to be formatted the right way. This shit happens all the time.
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    SUUUUURRRREEEEE you're not Kevin Scarbinsky. ;)
  4. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    Thanks for stopping by, Kevin.
  5. lantaur

    lantaur Active Member

    A lot of times it's the way the feed is sent to the online world. It also depends how many people are putting the copy up - if one or two people are putting the whole paper online, it can be a long night and things can slip through the cracks. Not saying this is the case or makes it right even if so, just giving a possible explanation.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    The system used, the number of people involved and the workload, the time crunch. All could contribute to this. And I'd bet the Birmingham News doesn't have a gigantic staff putting things online.

    It's not great, but it's understandable that this happens in the translation from the print story to the Web.
  7. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Yes, SF, and our Web entity doesn't have the people or time to tab-stop chart material correctly, so it runs like this:

    No Player Cl HtWtPos 2 Jordan Hall So5-9170HB-LB 3 TJ Burns Jr6-2170HB-DB 4 Davonte Shannon Sr6-2185WR-OLB 5 Michael Matt Jr6-2210FB-LB 6 Jerry Harris Jr6-0165HB-DB 7 Nick Spino Jr6-3170WR-DB

    The facts don't make it any easier to swallow.
  8. Toolbox

    Toolbox Member

    There are plenty of times you can take copy that would be formatted correctly on the page and looks fine before it hits the web, but once it's published online you'll get weird breaks in the middle of grafs and no returns between other grafs. It happens. Sometimes it's not the fault of the person putting the story online at all.

    And seriously, that's the biggest issue you have with the web portion right now?
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    It's up there, toolbox. Even if the story can be read, one of those "slip-ups" causes the reader to stop and think that something's wrong.
  10. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    They have a weird setup for this. All of B'ham's Web stuff is processed at an off-site location that also handles Huntsville and Mobile. The Web folks come in around 5 a.m. to do the stories for the day, then hang around until mid-afternoon for any breaking news updates. And while al.com is ultimately owned by Newhouse, they are technically a different company from the newspapers, and think of themselves as a stand-alone site that happens to incorporate newspaper content.
  11. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I have a bigger issue with web sites that update in the early morning, but instead of using the final gamer or whatever it is, take the first-edition filler that might have the score but little else, certainly no quotes.

    Not that I'm pointing ANY fingers at any particular daily paper's webbies. :)
  12. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    While we're at it, can anyone explain why grafs on websites generally aren't indented? (I tried to do it here and things went haywire.)
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