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Embarrased, but it wasn't my fault

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Wonder if this has ever happened to anyone else?

    Boys prep basketball, girls prep basketball, prep hockey all playing at the same night, same time. Had pled our case to school administrators for a week, begging them to change one of the start time to avoid conflict... no success.

    SE is out of town covering girls at state basketball tourney. Leaves me to do boys basketball playoff game and hockey playoff game. I cover basketball live and hope to do hockey off a phoner, stat sheet. Can't get a hold of the coach via phone late that night. So I'm basically writing off the stat sheet: who scored goals, when, etc. Guy doing the stats doesn't list them in sequence and counts the time scored backwards. Thus, story gets stuff out of order. I'm thoroughly embarrassed, but don't know what I could have done.

    Finally, get a response to my email from the coach, but it's after deadline. Only option was to not run anything at all on a league semifinal game. Thankfully, this conflict won't happen again this winter, but I'm guessing I'm not the first one it happened to. UGH!!
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I would be more embarrassed of going to the administration to try to postpone a game. It's not in any way, shape, or form to try to reschedule something.

    As for the hockey story, hopefully you didn't put your byline on it. And you did write it off of a stat sheet, not basically, unless you talked to someone else that you didn't mention.

    But tomorrow is always another day and it's not as if you libeled someone. Mistakes happen and you just learn from it. Just don't do it again.
  3. NoOneYouKnow

    NoOneYouKnow Member

    Mark2010, for your sake and that of the paper, I hope you're located in a very small town.

    You're asking of the administrators to move or postpone a game is beyond unprofessional. It's not the school's responsibility to match what works best for your paper. It's not their problem that your paper doesn't have enough staff to cover everything.

    And because you don't have enough staff, the onus falls on the SE to decide what gets covered by a staffer and what is dealt with through either agate or a phoner.
  4. jps

    jps Active Member

    change start times? seriously? yikes.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    The coaches I deal with wouldn't change their office hours.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Coaches won't accommodate us, they get the coverage they deserve.

    Actually, a lot of times they don't control game times. That's up to the governing body. The system in Texas, though, does give you a little wiggle room. If a boys' team and a girls' team are both in the playoffs, the coaches could agree on a central site or play on different days or times to let fans see both.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I understand that there are many factors involved. But these guys change dates/start times quite regularly for all sorts of reasons. And, yes, it causes some problems, especially when it competes with other events.

    On the larger level, if a major college will start a game at 10 am or 10 pm solely for television, what's the difference? At the respective levels, we're the same. I've made that request a number of times through the years, and not even normally for my own coverage reasons (although that is a factor).

    Just this week, a school I cover wanted to change the start of the playoff game in order to avoid a conflict with the girls game of one of the schools, so fans could attend both. Everyone has their interests to look out for, and we're no different.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

  9. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Shouldn't the title be
    Embarrassed because I'm completely unprofessional
  10. jps

    jps Active Member

    this thread is awesome (with fail).

    um ... "so what's the difference?" seriously? well, you're not the wwl, for one. you don't line the pockets of the schools (I don't think, but now I'm not as sure ... ) for the right to call the shots in terms of scheduling. and, yeah, they will sometimes change the boys/girls game to avoid a conflict, but it's in their best interest to do so. it may well help them win and advance and help their fans/students. the fact that it helps you is just a who-gives-a-shit side benefit. there is so much more, but I'm just so baffled at the denseness that I'm not able to find the words. dude, get a clue.

    but back to the question ... it is your fault. if the stat sheet is screwed up, write shorter. you know the final score. you know who scored. there's your story. throw some background - how did they get to this point, where do they go next, what's on the line when they play in their next game (if they won) or who will be back next year/gone next year if they lost. throw in a 'coach not available for comment' and ship it off. make up for the lack of length in a feature/preview next week.
  11. NoOneYouKnow

    NoOneYouKnow Member

    Mark2010, you're so out of line. Most places you would be reprimanded or fired for making such a request. If I were your boss, well I wouldn't be your boss any longer because I would've canned ya.
  12. jps

    jps Active Member

    I'm thinking that I'd be embarrased to even bring it up jokingly in casual conversation ... but to beg and plead for a week? where in the hell do you work that they just didn't laugh you out of the room and that this seems to be acceptable?
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