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Contacting athletes through MySpace

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

  1. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Finally, some common sense.

  2. Vic Mackey

    Vic Mackey Member

    Funny. I remember -- as a lurker here a few years ago -- a debate about quoting somebody by email. There were similar objections. Now, especially when it comes to Mark Cuban, there are email quotes all over the place. I know reporters who do much of their one question interviews (I need to check this fact) by blackberry.

    Come on. The internet is a constantly evolving thing. Someone else made a great point about how the site is used by musicians and filmmakers. Saying it's purely for teenagers or child molesters shows you to be terribly misinformed. (No, I don't have a myspace page. Not my style. But I know others who do and I tried to learn about it.)

    What's the big deal about contacting someone through myspace? "Uh, boss, I've heard through a source that Johnny Smith has demanded a trade. The only place I could contact him is on his myspace page, but I don't think it's an acceptable form of communication so we're going to have to pass."
  3. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    I'm not talking about the older kids, I'm talking about minors and/or high schoolers.
    It's weird. Just my opinion.
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    You didn't try using a carrier pigeon?

    You lazy fucker!

  5. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    That was never part of my considerations and it wasn't previously part of the discussion. Obviously, that might be a little sketchier. But the men I attempted to contact were 18-20.

    And Vic, it wasn't about trying to quote them through MySpace. That's kinda lazy. I asked them to call me for an interview.
  6. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    That's not as bad as high school kids. College kids' pages are alright I guess.

    There's adults (kinda ;)). Even if a kid turns 18 in high school, no way are they an adult.
  7. enigami

    enigami Member

    The obvious "shaky ground" is that, chances are, your myspace page presents you in a less professional manner to sources than you would otherwise - whether in person, on the phone or in a simple e-mail. So it's a judgment call. Will your source still treat you like a professional if/when they pore over your page? The answer will differ depending on who you're contacting.

    I rolled the dice on this question only once, with a 23-year-old AFL player who had changed his cell, lived two hours away and was (naturally) much harder to reach through the team. I asked for his digits off of myspace, set up an interview in person, and can only assume that by now he's forgotten that I listen to the Bad Plus, read the Bible, and have Tila Tequila in my Top 8.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    One of the problems with myspace is things are not always what they appear to be. I know a couple of MLB players who were shocked to find out they had myspace pages. They never had anything to do with it -- they were put up by imposters.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Or so you've heard, right? :D

    (I keed, I keed. Smasher's not 56)
  10. mikebb13

    mikebb13 Member

    I used MySpace to do an e-mail interview and it ended up leading to one of my better columns.

    That said, I wouldn't use it unless I didn't have a good alternative. It's a good tool to use when it's needed though.
  11. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    The funniest part about that is you're not the first person I've heard of to have Tila Tequila on a Top 8.

    I covered the team this weekend, and the athletes who I sent messages to didn't look at me differently. I did set my profile to private before I sent messages. Although I failed in my attempt to set up interviews, it's probably because they're juco jocks with comments on their pages about how much marijuana they and their teammates smoke or they don't give a fuck about the paper.
  12. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I've contacted a coach on myspace before. No problem. Have several athletes I cover saved as favorites on myspace. Like pointed out, it's a public forum...they know how to make their sites private, and it's a good way to email them. I wouldn't do an interview that way.
    When I contacted the coach, I asked about meeting him the next day (I had a cell number for him that turned out to not be working at the time). He told me where he'd be.
    That's the only reason I'd use it. Ask to meet the athlete somewhere, so you can indeed verify them.
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