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Contacting athletes through MySpace

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CradleRobber, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Do you know anyone who has done it? Is it a bad idea?

    I've done it once under very special circumstances for a MLB draft story, and was successful.

    I need quotes from a few football players, but I can't get out to the college. I'm afraid they'd just get nervous that a reporter is sending them a message given all the drug and alcohol references on their pages. I thought schools made their athletes tune that kind of shit down, anyway.

  2. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Don't even think about it. Bad move. Terrible move. Huge mistake.
  3. I lean toward no also, but the only way to reach people who aren't your friend on myspace is to send a message. That's the same as an email. Would you also refrain from sending an email to a kid to get in touch with her or him?
  4. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    I would be leery that you're getting the real person (I set up a fake MySpace page for a buddy of mine as a gag...made him become friends with a bad rock band and a gay porn actor) -- plus, I don't think using MySpace is professional. I know there's a lot of stuff on my page I wouldn't want an interview subject to see -- and when you contact someone through there, your page is just a click away.
  5. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    I've checked out the three I would consider contacting. They're not fake, have many comments, it seems like they put a lot of time into the profiles and the players were "online now" after practice last night.

    To me, it seems like it might be worth a shot. It's somewhat unprofessional, but they're junior college athletes.

    Tyler, if there's a lot of stuff on your page you wouldn't want an interview subject or someone who reads your stories to see, then I hope your profile is either set to private or you registered for it with a fake name. Otherwise, any reader could find it in a search. And then you'd feel like an idiot.
  6. Yeah, the whole thought that the kids might be afraid of having someone see drug or alcohol paraphernalia on their page isn't a reason to avoid it. Myspace is basically a public site since it's so easy to see someone's profile. If you don't want anyone knowing you're into something (drugs, gay sex, rock 'n roll) then don't put it on your page.
  7. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i can't understand why it's considered unprofessional. i see why it's not ideal and why it's risky but what's unprofessional about it? he needs a quote and can't get in front of the players.

    assuming you're contacting them and asking them to call you or that you write "johnny linebacker said in an e-mail to the poopville press" it seems fine.
  8. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I've done it twice, both times to contact players who transferred from the team I cover in order to get their sides of the story.

    Both times they responded, I was able to get into further contact with them and wound up getting stories I might not otherwise have been able to get.

    I see nothing wrong with it.

    As an aside, I don't have a MySpace page myself. I just created an account when I found out said athletes had pages so I could email them. I had good prior relationships with both, and they had no problems with me contacting them that way.
  9. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    I'd only contacting them that way if there were no other alternatives.

    But I'd definitely bring up the pages in any interviews -- as long as it fits within the stories you're writing.
  10. Babs

    Babs Member

    I contacted an athlete once via email a few years ago, before MySpace existed. I did it because I was pissed at the PR staff and I wanted to show them that I could do this with or without their assistance. I didn't even really need the quotes to be honest, it was more out of spite. So that part I'm not really proud of, but anyway it was all fine, nothing bad came of it.
  11. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Well, my page has pictures of me drinking, party shots of friends, videos of Black Sabbath, messages about my party habits and a swipe at Bill O'Reilly. Now, anyone that halfway knows me will find out rather quickly that I like to have a good time, so that's why I have that stuff on my page....that's who I am. But I don't want to put information like that one click away from people I deal with professionally. I just figure no one would bother looking for my page....I'm an ugly guy in his 30s, not a hot 18 year old chick.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    An ugly guy in his 30s should be stewing at home, wondering how his life got so screwed up -- not out partying with friends. Get with it.
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