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Challenges of covering a veteran college team

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

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I cover a team that has 16 or 17 starters back this year, and lately I've started to realize that I'm practically out of story ideas. Now I'm not a moron, so I've been all right with trend stories and so forth, but it's required some creativity.

    Next year, the team will be a lot worse, but they'll be so many new guys, some of them big-time recruits when they came in, that it'll be an interesting season with lots of potential angles.

    Anyone else found this to be the case on a college beat - a young, rebuilding team being more interesting from a journalist's standpoint than a team with all the pieces in place for a while?
  2. InTheSkeller

    InTheSkeller Member

    Duh. That's what separates us from the TV fucks and the bloggers.

    That being said, I see what you're saying. It can sometimes be hard to come up with something every day, assuming you also did a story or two a day during spring drills and preseason camp.

    Then again, this is only week 4 of the freakin' season! If you're floundering for stories one-third of the way into the season, maybe it's time to think about doing another beat.

    Is a "young" team more interesting, even if it sucks? Not necessarily. Players and coaches have a tendancy to clam up when they're losing.
  3. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Oh, I'll make it through just fine. I was just curious if anyone else who's been with the same nucleus forever starts to think, "Let's graduate these guys and move on to the next generation!"
  4. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Sure, new content and storylines are appealing.

    However, the plus side to covering a veteran team is you've built trust with some of the players and there are stories there that they would be more likely to tell you now that you've already done the "meet this player" bio story.

    Don't believe me?

    See, Laveranues Coles' admission that he was sexually abused
    Filed under, New York Times
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Except it was Coles' first year back with the Jets after a stint with the Redskins and like the second or third month on the beat for the writer, Karen Crouse.
  6. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    He was still a vet in the league.

    Good point on the newbie NYT writer, though. Still... I hope my example shows you can still find appealing storylines about folks who have been around.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    It indeed takes more work to keep it fresh but, as sxy said, you should also have better rapport with people who have been around for a while. Just bs'ing with a kid I'd written about before, I discovered a nugget or two I didn't know. So it made for a decent piece.
  8. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    "B.S.-ing with a kid"? Obviously you don't cover the same program as me. The SID would make his way over there so quick if he saw those kind of shenanigans going on there'd be scorch marks on the carpet.
  9. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    Tell the SID to take a hike if that happens.

    I'm constantly amazed at how we bow to SID staffs. Grow some nads and stick up for what you're doing. Believe me, a little confrontation can go a long way in getting them to leave you alone.

    You actually have a story and you mentioned it yourself. Why not write something about all the new guys waiting in the wings? Is it hard for them to watch on the bench while all the vets play out their careers?
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Shenanigans? An SID who looks at a reporter chatting/bs'ing with a player in that way is a problem SID indeed. They make me realize how lucky I am to deal with the people I do.
  11. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Me too, Moddy. Talk to everyone you can, and story ideas will come. When you're sitting at your desk and you can't think of a good story to write, you're not out talking to enough people.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I'm going to vote for the notion that a veteran team should yield the opportunity to write something more nuanced than the Same Old Crap.
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