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Differing gamer styles ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Platyrhynchos, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    ... and how they affect how employers look at prospective employees.

    I work at a small weekly, highly community-oriented paper where the unwritten rule is to get as many names in the article as possible. Not my idea, but I'd be dressed down by the boss if I didn't do this.

    I have never written a pxp gamer and never will, unless a certain sequence of plays sets up or determines the outcome of the game. Still, I have to write what and how I'm expected to write, and my articles look like they've been written by a guy who works at a small weekly, highly community-oriented paper.

    I read larger dailies, and the gamers there are nice and compact. I can write like that, but those who sign the checks wouldn't like it and demand that I change.

    So, when I send clips to larger papers, the SE sees my tripe and summarily dismisses me as a candidate. What's the solution? Send feature clips to show I know my way around the language?

    Do you understand what I'm trying to say here? I hope I've made it clear.

    Any help?
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    So you're telling me your bosses won't let you write more, smaller stories?

    I'd rather read four 10-inch angles on the game on different facets of the team than one long 40-inch weekly recap.

    I believe you could get just as many names in the paper with that angle as you could through the big weekly roundup-type story.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah, why not suggest a package on each game. Do a 15-inch game story how you'd write it like you'd want.

    Then print a full stats package.

    Or run the roster with a note for each player.

    Albert Abney -- rushed 3 times for 7 yards
    Zeke Zinnia ... looked good holding clipboard
  4. TX Writer

    TX Writer Member

    Yeah, but he's really stepped up his game this year. He really wants it.
  5. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    If you write well and clean, it won't matter. Instead of worrying about length, at a community paper try and do some well thought out feature stories. That way you can show your versatility.

    I think 40 inches of anything is too much. I hope you brak it up and just don't run 2,500 words all gray.

    I am at a PM, and there is a certain style to it. Our gamers use delayed leads and straight play-by-play is frowned upon. If I went with a nuts and bolts AM gamer I would get scolded. You got to talyor your writing to your niche and market. Express that in your cover letter. When you get a shot at doing something of quality, don't pass it up.

    I worked at a weekly for 3 weeks before I got my first daily gig. I don't know how people do it. I got a college beat now and travel, the guy who replaced me is still there taking little league scores. It's all about luck in the end I guess. I have met some great weekly writers.
  6. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    Bobby Buttsniffer is really pushing him. He came up from JV and has not missed a beat.
  7. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Buttsniffer can't carry my jock.

    I run the clipboard on this team, cats and kittens.
  8. if you are applying to larger papers, perhaps your cover letter should express this thought? If not in the cover letter, but maybe in a folo up phone call or the interview.
    You get an interview the SE at the next stop will tell you what he wants - be it a eight inch gamer filed no later than 20 minutes after the final whistle.
    Let that next potential employer know what you think you can do.
    You can't help the box you are in.
    As someone already said if your stuff is clean that will be big help. Clean copy will get your foot in the door, you can take it from there and explain the constraints of your current stop.
  9. InTheSkeller

    InTheSkeller Member

    Don't put gamers in your clips pack. Stick to features, columns (if ya do 'em), enterprise and the like. If your boss requires you to get a ton of names in those kinds of pieces, then you really do have a problem.
  10. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    It's SOP in certain places. I worked for a publisher who wanted phone-booked stories. It's neither good writing nor good journalism, but that never stopped the family.
  11. TX Writer

    TX Writer Member

    What are some of the things yall do to make your gamers more unique? Fortunately, I don't have the thread starter's problem, but I know what it's like because I worked for a community paper once.

    But what do yall do specifically to make gamers stand out?
  12. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I was going to say something similar. In your clips, you should only have one (maybe two) gamers, just to show the SE that you can do them. Your strong features and enterprise pieces are what will land you a job.

    Also, while the main text of your gamer might be rather mundane, try to show off your skills in the lede and endings. Doing that will express your talent to any potential suitors.

    And if the higher-ups at your paper are anything like the ones at the weekly I started at, do what you have to do to get by. Maybe try to sneak a nice, clean, compact gamer in every once in awhile, but don't do anything that will get you bitched at a lot or fired.
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