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Dan Wetzel on column writing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member


    It's a good talk on some of Wetzel's work, including the Brady column. But I'll quote the answer I like best (mostly because I agree 1000%):

    <i>Here’s what I would tell most reporters. Stop Tweeting. Stop Tweeting and start paying attention to the game and all that’s going on. All everyone does in the press box now is sit up there and Tweet play-by-play. Stop Tweeting. Nobody wants all that. There are people who Tweet play-by-play of the Super Bowl. There are 150 million people watching the game. Who is not watching that game and instead following you and your Twitter account and needs to know right away that Frank Gore just ran 4 yards off tackle? So that would be my first advice and my biggest criticism today.

    Most sports journalists do a tremendous job. They really do. I’m not down on anyone. I don’t have it figured out. But the one thing I do see is stop wasting your time on Twitter. Spend more time thinking about what people want to read. And yeah your Twitter feed gives you some of that instant feedback. But Tweeting during the game takes away your focus. Who cares? Does Twitter pay you? I’ve never gotten a penny from them. If anyone has, let me know. They don’t pay me anything.</i>
  2. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    The only way I'd modify what he says is "stop tweeting poorly." If you are tweeting a play by play, you're wasting your time. If you are making interesting, funny and conversation-inspiring (as opposed to provoking) comments, than you aren't wasting time.

    Use Twitter wisely.
  3. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

    Yep. Tweet things that the fans can't see on TV or get from their cell phones. Add information to the discussion.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Or, again, just don't tweet. The lasting product of your work from covering a ballgame is your story. What do you thumb back through in a week or a month or six months -- your story or your best in-game tweets?
  5. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    playthrough, I think tweeting is a tool to build audience. Newspapers had a monopoly on the audience in generations passed. Not any more. Smart use of social media is to compel people to consume your work. The best way to do that is by having credible things to say.

    Like it or not, readers have a myriad of options out there to find information. This is especially true if you cover things important enough to be shown on TV.

    So there's a line you walk. I always have twitter on while covering games and I engage. But twitter is secondary and merely a tool, but one you are wise to use and wiser to use well.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Quibble: no "a" before and "of" after myriad.

    Readers have myriad options.

    Back to your regularly scheduled conversation.
  7. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Call me "Wordy" McGee.
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Related to Tits?
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    It would be an interesting experiment for a well-known columnist -- maybe Wetzel -- to go through a year in three modes:

    1) Tweet as normal
    2) Do not tweet from any event you're covering
    3) Do not tweet at all

    ... and study the impact on readership. Of course that could be measured many ways too, but at this point it would be almost impossible to take the side that tweeting pays off in a business sense.

    It's almost like Twitter has returned us to the days of print media, when we just assumed people were reading (news and ads) because we published.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member


  11. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    There are a myriad of ways.




    Wetzel won't be tweeting any of those examples.
  12. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I avoid using "myriad" or "decimated" in my own writing because of their precise numerical origins. But modern definitions have flexed enough to allow "myriad" to be used casually and as a noun. Either be a full-on usage purist or shut up about it.
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