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Black Friday shopping stories are not news

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starman, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    They are free advertising.

    Just sayin'.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Don't try to use stories about other towns, either. I had a publisher threaten to can me when I used a sister paper's story on Black Friday. My town had a Walmart and K-mart, but most travelled an hour away to the "big city" that had a decent mall.
  3. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Similarly, reciting the AAA press release about how many people are expected on the road and getting a throwaway quote from the state troopers saying to allow extra travel time does not constitute journalism.
  4. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    Not according to my editor. The bastard.
  5. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Agree 100% on this. Aggravates me to no end. Then again, our paper centerpieces art of rain whenever that comes our way, so, whatever.
  6. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    How much of it is a function of the traditional dearth of news from a holiday?
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Almost lends itself to blogging and tweeting: "Wal-Mart out of Xboxes ... fistfight in aisle 12 at Toys R Us over the remaining Barbies."

    Oh, sh-- ... may have given some editor an idea.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    It's like putting weather as your centerpiece on A1.

    What you're telling your readers: "We've got nothing else, so here's some meaningless bullshit we think is useful but is really meaningless bullshit."

    The biggest nonevent of the year.
  9. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

    Argued this for years. "Snow in January isn't news. Snow in July is." Any guesses on whether or not anyone listened?
  10. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I'm normally 1,000-percent behind not running Black Friday stories, but what I just witnessed on what would normally be a rather serene drive home from work was horrifying. Worst midnight traffic (non-sporting event or concert) I have ever seen. I could only imagine what the retail workers (if they could even get to work) are dealing with.
  11. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    As someone who is writing one of these as we speak, I couldn't disagree more.

    People care about Black Friday. Bottom line. They will be much more likely to read a story about Black Friday than a council meeting, a high school football gamer or almost anything else a community newspaper does. Our Web hits reflect that year after year.

    In a previous thread, we were debating the merits of covering more community events where people actually are as opposed to where they are not (council meetings, high school volleyball matches, etc). And this is an example.
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    With the disclaimer that I now am working in retail, I nonetheless fall on this side of the discussion.

    Black Friday is news maybe not so much because it is such a great, earth-shaking event in terms of newsy-ness but because, on this day, every year, it is the place to be. It is what people are thinking about, talking about, concerning themselves with, and doing, whatever the reasons.

    And, in terms of business news, well, yes, it certainly is news -- on both the local and broad economic scales -- that can have far-reaching effects.

    As always, it's all a matter of how, and how well, the stories are handled.
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