1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Dear dimwit on the phone

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

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    The paper's high school twitter account? Or the actual school's twitter account?
    Either way, yeah...big whup. But for him to bitch about the high school's account to the local paper is "Derp!"
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    That's always been an interesting dilemma. I get the argument that each player deserves his/her moment in the spotlight. If they've been faithful, worked diligently on and off the field, stayed out of trouble, sure they deserve a nice send-off and probably the chance to start, even if they don't run as fast or jump as high as someone else.

    But I see the argument the other way, too. In general, I think school sports are or should be more about participation than wins and losses, though.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    But they're costing their own kids scholarships!
  4. Kolchak

    Kolchak Active Member

    Lacrosse isn't a sanctioned high school sport for us, but because a publisher had a son or nephew playing it, guess where some of our prep coverage suddenly went to? Anyway, we also post lacrosse results online and one parent e-mailed us to tell us her daughter's stats were incorrect for one game... because of what we might cost her.
  5. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    Dear parent of an athlete,
    When you call me to inform me your child has told the coach he will play for his school, please be advised your son has given a VERBAL committment, not an ORAL committment. It's especially awkward when you try to say it in a nonchalant "My son has given an oral to Podunk State"
  6. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    This is what I think too. And we're probably not alone. Bearing that in mind, here's an existential question for everyone on the prep beat: Why do we cover it and take it so seriously?

    Obviously, I understand local papers demand local stories. I get it. I'm not a complete idiot. I worked at several such places for 20 years. But I've often wondered how it came to be that something of interest to such a small swath of any given community became such a focal point. As an industry, it seems we long ago passed the point where we really examine what we we're doing. We don't stop to ask the question Mark raised: Isn't this just an after-school activity that's not really fodder for day-in, day-out coverage?

    I don't deny there are valid counter-arguments to what I'm saying. But there were a lot of times when I felt like I took prep coverage more seriously than anyone other than the kids' parents. And I wondered whether thousands of other readers gave a damn.
  7. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    As someone who has covered high school sports for many years, I have found they matter more to Podunks, population 25,000 or less, than they do to the medium-sized cities and major metro areas.

    Exceptions would be football and many state championships. In New Mexico, for example, the state basketball tournament is a pretty big deal.
  8. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    It always bothered me when people would issue a blanket, "High school sports are huge here. People care about them so much" statement.

    Unless it's a setting like Morris is talking about, where Podunks has 1 or at most 2 high schools and readers live or die with that/those schools, I've always found that people care about THEIR high school alone, not high school sports as a whole. If you have a coverage area of 80 schools and you have 10 prep writers filling 6 pages a day with coverage of those schools, unless you're writing about their specific school and their specific sport, readers are going to say you do a shitty job of covering high schools.
  9. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    As someone who works in what many would consider a podunk, I can tell you that senior games receive no special coverage from me. It might — MIGHT — get a mention in the story, but only if something else occurs in the game to make it noteworthy.
    Same thing with homecoming. I shoot a pic of the king and queen and maybe mention that it's the homecoming game, but unless the king is a player who stands out that night, it's business as usual.
  10. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    That's my phiosophy as well, and I think it's the same for the teams. They may introduce the seniors on Senior Night before the game, but when the whistle blows it's the regular starters who are on the field.

    As for the importance of prep sports. I work in an area where the biggest schools routinely draw upwards of 6-7,000 for home football games, where even the smallest schools pack them in 10 deep for the really good teams. People here care about prep sports and we try to give them what they want.
  11. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    Most I've done is add the phrase "...on Senior Night"
  12. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member


    Closest I've come to having to shoot one is when someone from the newest school in town made a Facebook posting "We hope to see the Podunk Shopping News at our first ever Senior Night tonight for volleyball ..." and dayside editors wondered if we could squeeze it in? We couldn't, since we already had the shooter assigned to regional golf, but also took time that while senior night was a big deal, it wasnt.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page