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Calling sources on a holiday

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, May 10, 2009.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Just had a high school coach get testy with me for "calling on Mother's Day while I'm trying to relax with my family."

    Was I in the wrong? I guess I'm just irritated because writing about Johnny Schoolboy isn't exactly how I want to spend my Sunday, either, but the show must go on.
  2. I would try not to.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, try not to but sometimes it can't be avoided.

    "I'm trying to do the same coach, but duty calls so how about you just help me out here so we can both get on with it."
  4. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    If it's breaking news, it can't be avoided.

    If you're working on a feature or something else that isn't time-sensitive, I'd wait.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I agree. If you know the person really well and they're not high-strung it might not be so bad.

    Otherwise, I wouldn't unless I'm really tight on deadline and it can't wait.
  6. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter; maybe he's got a valid point. But Mother's day? C'mon! Sounds like the guy is either just a dick or he has some other beef with you.
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Several years ago, the owner of the local race track died on Christmas Eve. I was working the desk the next night, and I was a little apprehensive about calling some of the drivers who raced at the track for a comment on the story I was working on. I called three I knew pretty well, and they were more than happy to talk to me. I apologized to all of them for calling, and all of them were pretty cool about it. One said, lowering his voice so no one could hear him at his house, "Hell, I'm glad you called. My fucking in-laws are here and it got me out of being around them for a few minutes. I owe you a beer when I see you next season."
  8. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    I see both sides. On one hand, a spring-sport coach gets about 3.8 seconds per year with their family -- and they are likely winding down from coaching two other sports along with teaching.

    On the other hand, I would have to resist coming back with "hey, coach, no problem ... I'll call your rival and get their kids some pub instead."

  9. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I don't know what time you called, but I would have no issue calling after, say, 5 p.m.

    It's his choice to be a coach. He needs to deal.
  10. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    Forgive me if this is a little off-topic: I was a young high schools reporter at the time for a major paper out east. It was Sept. 12, 2001. I told my sports editor I felt bad about calling coaches and players so soon after the events of the previous day, could these interviews wait a day. And yes, it would have meant holding a typical feature story for our section...he told me "Oh come on, [the terrorist attacks] won't affect anyone outside of New York." I didn't have the balls to tell him I could still see the cloud hanging over the city from my house, even though we were two hours away. By the way, the editor at my next stop would have called me to say, hold tight on this one.
  11. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    If this coach is not an actual mother (literally, not figuratively) I don't see the problem with calling on Mother's Day. Christmas, Easter, etc. I would not call, but Mother's Day ... fair game. I look at it this way, if Home Depot is open it isn't really that big of a holiday (Home Depot is random, I know).
  12. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    If you had a story to do, you should have called.
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