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!

Bad columns/stories from a star

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I was reading on the sports board about Reilly's 'Body Parts' column and how terrible it was. I read it, and I must say, I agree that it's far, far below what he's done in the past. But it got me to thinking, how do you deal with that?

    Say you've got a star columnist or writer, and he turns in a story/column that is complete crap. How do you deal with that? What should Reilly's editors have done, assuming they also thought it was a bad column?

    I imagine telling Reilly "this column just isn't very good. You have anything better?" probably wouldn't work.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Work with the person to fix the flaws.
  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    That's the thing of it, though -- I can't imagine some of these 'stars' would take well to being 'worked with.' For example, a year or two ago when Albom had that Final Four fiasco where he imagined guys in the stands that never actually attended, and it was revealed that copy editors practically can't touch his work -- how would somebody like that respond to an editor saying "This column just isn't very good. Can you re-work it or give us something else?"
  4. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    With a columnist, it may be hard to do "gimme something else," especially if it's a column off a game. But you can work with the person to minimize the damage. "Gimme something else" would be above-my-pay-grade territory.
  5. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    The instant a writer becomes too big to listen to an editor, that writer risks shitting the bed, early and often.
  6. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    And that happens, all too often.
  7. joe

    joe Active Member

    And Jones knows all about that. At least once.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Actually, that wasn;t his worst... And I'm not obsessing here, just offering a view.
    When the Tigers were in the process of being sold from Domino's owner Tom Monaghan -- who simply lost interest in the Tigers -- to Little Caesar's owner Mike Illitch, it was the worst-kept secret in Michigan.
    The Freep had posted several columns over the course of the summer that it was coming. Albom, who had been on vacation most of the summer and missed all the fun, led his column with "I'm back and I have good news." Then went into the fact that -- NEWSFLASH -- the Tigers were going to be sold to Ilitch, a man who cared about baseball and the Tigers when Monaghan didn't. (In fairness, most of the writers around drank that Kool-aid too, so it wasn't just Mitch who got suckered into that nonsense.)
    But it came across as "now it's official because I"VE told you."
    Might have been his worst column ever.
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Ages and ages ago, a Phil Hersh column that was obviously done under duress to pimp up the Trib's Holiday Fund or whatever the hell it was they did ...

    So bad, I saved it .. in one of the 20 or 30 boxes of stuff I have.
  10. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    That was the most brutal Reilly offering in a long time. And Rushin's wasn't much better
  11. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    To paraphrase a popular quote on the Anything Goes board... this thread is useless without a link to the column being talked about (especially since I didn't read it)
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Everyone's going to file a stinker sometime, almost never intentionally. If you're editing it, try to stay away from overall judgments, take a step back and try to come up with a couple quick-fix suggestions that might improve it, then suggest them to the writer.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page