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Best preps coverage?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ouipa, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. ouipa

    ouipa Member

    I'm looking to do a little research on what constitutes great high school sports coverage, both online and in print. We're always looking to improve our coverage, and I'd like to be able to offer some ideas to my editor and management by the start of the next school year.

    So what papers around the US offer the best comprehensive preps coverage? I'm not just talking football, though that's very important. I'd like to know which papers give solid print content, while offering more cutting-edge online content through blogs, multimedia, et al.

    And I'm not just looking for the biggest papers, either. How about a wild card, a mid-market or smaller-market paper that does a great job with limited resources and fewer coverage options?

  2. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Full disclosure: I string for them, but the Glens Falls Post-Start, 35,000 or so daily, is really strong as is the similarly-sized The Day of New London (worked there years ago).

    The Buffalo (NY) News is excellent. I read a lot of papers on the web, and two that I really like for high school sports are the Des Moines Register and Anchorage Daily News.
  3. Situation

    Situation Member

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  4. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    Does an excellent job with integrating web coverage, but going off of what they post online, they cover just a handful of football games per week with Mike White, Mike Sanserino, Rich Emert, and Bill Brink. Three to four high school football games a week in a region with over 130 is ridiculous, especially considering they have the Tri-State News Service and other resources available.

    I mean, that's fewer PG reporters on the ground on a Friday night than even the understaffed Beaver County Times has out in the suburbs. I've seen upwards of six to seven bylines during a football weekend there. And the Tribune-Review does a great job of utilizing its network of newspapers and correspondents to funnel coverage out during high school football season.

    So while the PG does well, it's got some serious holes there.
  5. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    Now that I've criticized one, I'll praise another.

    The Harrisburg Patriot-News does an excellent job. They're a resource for preps across the state of Pennsylvania, especially with their work on Pennlive.com. Local papers willingly print the Patriot-News football rankings alongside their own.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    St. Petersburg Times.
  7. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Dallas Morning News. Space limits have taken a chunk out of what they've done in print but the web presence is still pretty good.

    Star Tribune in Minneapolis is also good... great with football as you'd expect, but their prep people cover the snot outta high school hockey in that region too.
  8. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    I think we do a pretty good job. We're a "smaller" paper, cover 13 high schools and circ around 40K. Depending on how big you are, here are some ideas: If you're our size, make the preps the pros. In other words, make them the lead, focus on them, do feature stories etc. We have staff written sports specific notes columns weekly that are among the most popular things we do. Cover games when you can, again how many and when depends on how big your staff is. Do game previews when called for.

    If you're a bigger paper along the lines of some of the metro's mentioned, do rankings. People eat them up. Just be prepared to let the criticism roll off your shoulders.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Dallas would have been my No. 2 behind St. Pete.

    The best year-round preps coverage is definitely in Florida or Texas.
  10. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Depends on what size paper you are, what resources you have/can reasonably get, and your market.

    The Washington Post has great coverage for a paper of its size, but that doesn't work with the New York City papers, and most shops don't have a third of the stringer network. Some papers have comprehensive websites, which is great, but if your site was made in the flying toaster screensaver era, it won't translate. And a paper in Pennsylvania might go crazy for wrestling, but most markets don't.

    Key is to find some analogs to your market and shop size, then work from there.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    There are a lot of big papers that do virtually no preps coverage.

    Here's the best way to tell, how many full-time prep writers are there on staff? Before papers started hacking staffs, some of the Florida and Texas papers would have prep staffs of more than 10. I know plenty of very large papers that have one.
  12. writingump

    writingump Member

    The paper where I used to work, the Bristol Herald Courier, was very good for most of my 13 years there. I'd say the Roanoke Times does a fine job with preps (and I should disclose that I correspond for them during the playoffs), as do the Tidewater-area dailies.
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