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Changing beats

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by obys again, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. obys again

    obys again New Member

    Let's say your paper has two college programs or two pro teams. Are beats rotated, and if so, how often. Also, do you like the idea of changing beats? The benefits? The downside?
  2. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    i'd be leery of doing it just to do it

    of course, the longest i think i've ever been on a beat is three years -- and both times i've done that, year two was so much better than year one and year three, well, year three i did pretty damn well. in one instance, i held my own against one of the best in the biz and the second time i owned the beat by then, despite several disadvantages inherent in the situation
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I would think it sort of defeats the purpose. Having a beat writer means one person knows the ins and outs of a program, has developed rapport with the necessary people and is not learning everything from scratch each time out. That person has the background knowledge essential for full coverage of a program.

    Unless there are compelling reasons to switch beats (and I would include personality conflicts as compelling reasons), I don't see the point.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    It's done a lot on news beats. Of course, those are different animals. But sometimes, you get stale doing the same thing every week. Maybe a change of scenery would be good.

    Not saying it should be done willy-nilly, but when well-thought-out, it might be good.
  5. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member


    I don't have a problem changing beats.
  6. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Solid, sir.
  7. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    The three-year rotation is a good thing, IMPO. One thing I've found is that after three years on a beat, I'm about to go stale. I'm not curious/inquisitive in the fourth year as I was during those three years, and I'm champing at the bit for something new and different. Beat changes - heck, even beat-tinkering (like, let's take a mildly different approach to the beat, rather than just a usual cycle) can do wonders for a person.
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