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Big news in Michigan

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Follow the link, interesting stuff.

    http://papertigernomore.blogspot.com/2008/11/major-changes-announces-at-ann-arbor.html
     
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    The Beaumont Enterprise laid off its printing staff and now prints the paper at the Houston Chronicle, an hour away. That effectively killed high school football coverage in the print edition on Friday nights.

    The sports editor told a member of upper management about the problems this created, including eliminating quotes from prep gamers. We're talking about Texas schoolboy football here, which is a pretty big deal, maybe even as big as Ron Burgundy.

    Response: "You'll just have to get your quotes at halftime."

    Two hours away? And with all those other changes? Yowza.
     
  3. Gee. Why not just write the story at halftime? Idiot.
     
  4. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    Latest is that reporters could, in the future, also be moved among papers without much choice in the matter. People really demoralized by it. There's a huge lifestyle difference between living in Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids (not saying better or worse, just different) and people choose one over the other for a reason.

    Painful to see great people and a paper I deeply care about put through this.

    I expect this combination of semi-forced moves and buyout carrot will result in major, major staff losses for the papers involved.
     
  5. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Last time I covered a high school, which is pretty rare for me, I had 300 words written on the Tuesday before Friday night's game.
    I updated the score from XX-XX, threw in some stats and a couple of quotes from both coaches for about 500 words.
    It wasn't that hard.
    Take out the quotes and you still would have had 450 words or so.
    A quote-less gamer isn't the end of the world.

    Now that the thread jack is out of the way.

    WIll Ann Arbor still have a printing facility or will everything be out of Grand Rapids?

    And my shop has done more or less the same thing. One desk in a central location, with reporters fanned out. Yeah, it causes some problems. But just a different set of problems than before when everyone worked at different locations.
     
  6. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    The News has the most modern press in Michigan and currently prints The New York Times and the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, so that aspect of business (and deadlines associated with it) should be OK. The Times contract was a nice economic cushion for a while, but apparently not enough.
     
  7. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Interesting.
    So the AA has the best press, but the design desk won't be there.
    Is the press in one facility and the newsroom in another?
    If so, it might be a move to sell the current newspaper office, and move to smaller digs since you won't have as many people around.
     
  8. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    Yes, already being speculated.

    The newspaper building is prime downtown office space. Huge lot, big building.

    The print facility is in the country.
     
  9. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Yes.. The news room is in one building, copy editing and design 100 miles away, then printed at another facility in Ann Arbor..


    And yeah, maybe they'll sell the News building and put up something DTAA can really use, like restaurants, brew pubs or boutiques....
     
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    If 60 percent of your gamer in Saturday's paper is written on the Tuesday before, how is that news? Or did I miss the blue font?

    And I know a quote-less gamer isn't the end of the world. The paper couldn't get boxes in on time, and some writers had trouble hitting ridiculously early deadlines even without quotes.

    Just used that anecdote to show the manager's mindset: get your quotes at halftime.
     
  11. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    That's a done deal then. They might already have a buyer for the building.
    Just a way to raise some cash and keep people from getting laid off.

    And J_D, it wasn't blue font. We've all covered games with crazy late start times, with crazy early deadlines. Such as that bullshit 8:30 p.m. kick for ESPN2.
    Writing as much as you can, as early as you can is pretty standard.
    The same thing can be done for most high school games.
    And gazing into the crystal ball and making some educated guesses as to what will happen is also helpful.
    Now you might have to boot what you did, and that always sucks, but most of the time, writing the gamer in advance is hugely helpful.
     
  12. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    I understand that, and I've done that, but at a certain point, you have to realize you're not giving your reader news if you can write it five days early. These weren't late starts, and this wasn't an election-night early deadline. This was the new, permanent deadline, with a regular kickoff.
     
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