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D2 semifinal and AP Photos

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    A team from our state, Mississippi, was in a D2 football semifinal Sunday in Michigan in an ESPN2 game.

    Both quarterfinal games by these teams (Delta State, top-ranked Grand Valley State) has been shot by AP the week before, as I recall. Anyway, we'd planned to centerpiece the game ... until, after the game (9:30 p.m. CST, an hour before color deadline), we find out that AP isn't moving any pictures. "We're not providing photo coverage untilt the finals," AP New York said.

    Then why were photos from the other semifinal, in Missouri, being distributed?

    Uh ...

    Why were quarterfinal photos distributed?

    Uh ...

    Calls to the Jackson, Miss., bureau (answered by a nice guy in New Orleans) and to the AP state photo desk (D.C., I think, but maybe outer Mongolia) follow. Nope, no photos. Zero, zip, nada.

    But ... the Clarion-Ledger had paid an AP stringer to shoot the game (good for them, if I had their budget I'd do the same) and they got photos. (And, in doing so, did they create a vapor lock at AP that kept the rest of us in the state from getting photos? I don't think so, but it's an interesting question, anyway.)

    Then, at 12:50 a.m. today ... two photos from the game, taken by the Grand Rapids paper, move.

    That was a big help. Thanks, guys. I'll be here all week, be sure to tip your waitress.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And I think to a time, after his pass to win at Miami, there were no fewer than 28 pictures of Doug Flutie in the next 18 hours after the football game -- 2/3's of which were not game photos....
    AP, gotta love it...
  3. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Something must have slipped through the cracks. I work in GR and served as the Clarion-Ledger's stringer for the game, and I know who shot it.
  4. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Different buros have different standards for D2. In Michigan, playoffs are (usually) shot. Apparently not so in Mississppi. I don't think there's a NY mandate that says yes or no for those games.

    Best bet: Don't assume, and ask if there will be photos in the days before a game. Even if you're told it's not, if enough people ask (like 2-3, in my experience) the whole special-general service thing will be reevaluated. You won't know unless you ask.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    But, as this example illustrates, you may ask and still not get a straight answer.

    To restate: The game was in Michigan. And AP in New York certainly seemed to think they were speaking with a mandate when I spoke to them.
  6. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I was working that night and never saw it cross the wire, but I thought I remembered it being somewhere other than Michigan. Who won?

    However, the *Michigan* AP sports handbook specifically says "Game coverage includes a final score, 150-word story, sums and stats for the Division II GLIAC (which GVSU is in). No photos are planned."

    Yeah, you'd hope that playoffs would be shot, but the best thing to do is call the local buro -- the one that would assign it -- and ask. Everyone else would be guessing. It might be an educated guess, but it's still a guess.

    Knowing AP, it's entirely possible that the photographers didn't know such a game even existed, even if the sports people did. Calling in advance to ask about coverage is the best way to see if going to be done.
  7. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile, the Jackson bureau here has given up any pretense of providing photo coverage of Mississippi State men's basketball home games, as the local (Starkville) paper no longer has a photographer. Some solution is promised by January, when SEC season begins. ... MSU played at Miami last night and the Miami Herald was nice enough to provide us with some images by e-mail.

    This, of course, creates an unbalanced situation in terms of treatment compared to Ole Miss, where the local (Oxford) paper has a quality shooter with a longstanding AP relationship.

    Someday, somebody is going to create a viable alternative to the AP. I will not cry one damned tear for them then.
  8. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    I'm fairly confident that AP moved photos from each of the quarterfinal games the week before in the D-2 playoffs. why they didn't think about shooting the semifinal game is a mystery to be answered by somebody important.
  9. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Yet will still remain unanswered...
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Oh, I dunno.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    If you get anything other than the AP two-step, I will be amazed...
  12. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Did you call them and ask?
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