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Dear dimwit on the phone

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starman, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Somewhat. Lesson learned (hopefully). News travels too fast.
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, we had the whole "it's bullshit" argument. My winning point as a desk editor was I'm not bumping important national stuff in a tight section to run six paragraphs on JV soccer just because the coach got around to sending in an email. Don't care how many kids' names are included. Not enough people give a rats tail.

    So the compromise was to do it in an orderly way.
  3. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Not shocked, considering who the coach is.

    This is the first time I've had a coach ruin the surprise of it. No other wrestling coach in this area had an issue not telling their kids -- or that kid's folks -- about the awards before I had a chance to talk to the kid.
  4. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    It's pretty much a given that if you have to say "don't tell anyone," the news is probably interesting enough that that person is going to want to tell someone. And I'm sure most people will use the same phrase when passing it along. I'm ashamed to admit that I have done this on many occasions. Though I only tell people I trust NOT to tell anyone. Then I worry that they WILL tell someone. And they probably do. It's a vicious cycle. Especially in a newsroom. :)
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Shoe's been on the other foot most of the time for me. Coaches will send us the all-league teams right after the meetings, but ask us to hold it until after the playoffs or the team banquet. No problem honoring this request.
  6. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    A few years ago a private school in my coverage area sent out a press release announcing that my paper had selected some of its athletes to all-area teams that hadn't yet been published. Imagine my joy at seeing that pop up in my in box. There's really no way to prevent this stuff. You just sort of have to roll with it. I politely asked the school not to do that again. But in the age of social media, you're never going to stop people from jumping the gun on that stuff. The big metro in my area has the same problem. Everyone knows who's on their teams before they're published. In a way it's good -- it gets the yell-fest out of the way earlier.
  7. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    Back in the 90s I covered prep swimming for my suburban daily. Team group shot was done and publication was a week later. Day after the team photo shoot had an angry phone call from an angry parent.

    AP: Why wasn't Little Precious picked for the all-area team???
    Me: The team hasn't been published yet. It will come out next week.
    AP: I demand to know why Little Precious wasn't picked for the team. (Goes on about how I ruined her self-esteem, cost her a college scholarship, etc.)

    She then told me that all the swimmers who made the team were dismissed from club team practice early for the photo shoot and Little Precious wasn't one of them.

    I'm sure that call would've come a lot earlier in the age of social media.
  8. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    Honest question: Have you literally heard "You cost him a scholarship!" because in nearly 10 years in this business, I haven't. I've heard the "they try hard" "that would enjoy this" and all the other cliches but that seems to be the one I haven't had used on me.
  9. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    I've heard a, "You're destroying her future." once.

    My first spring at a job and was collecting info for preview capsules with key losses and returners. Dealing with a first-year coach who can only name one key loss, but names 6-7 key returners. I ask a coworker who had been there a while if there's any name he didn't see. He points out the co-starting pitcher/shortstop from the year before isn't there. We list her as a loss, turns out the coach just forgot to say here name. Not a great setup.

    Anyway, a week later her dad calls. Tells me every softball coach recruiting her read this and asked why she's not playing. This makes no sense as it was print only and there are only two colleges in our coverage area, and she's not good enough to play at either (maybe juco-level player). So basically, he keeps yelling, saying I owe them a feature on her to "make it right." I calmly respond until he eventually burns out, finally shouting I'm ruining her future. It was quite a chat.

    As a postscript, she ended up dropping pitching in travel ball the next summer, causing some issues for her senior-year team. She did not play on the next level, instead attending beauty college the next town over. I suppose I could take a share of blame, but if you couldn't make it to a 2- or 4-year school out of the area's best academic high school, that strikes me as your own damn fault.
  10. Kolchak

    Kolchak Active Member

    Never heard a parent say we're costing his/her child a scholarship, but that's basically implied when they complain to us that a name is misspelled or a game result is missing because "college scouts read our paper/website."
  11. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I've had "these kids are trying to get recruited," with the implication that a lack of coverage is preventing it from happening. I heard it from a track mom once ... on your mark, set, delusions of grandeur!
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Once we got "you're crucifying these poor young girls" from the parent of a student-athlete who was neither poor nor young but had been suspended from a basketball team and we had the audacity to print that. Heck, we didn't even print what the suspension was for: alcohol-related stuff.
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