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!

enterprise stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I realized recently that in my limited time in this field, I haven't done any real enterprise reporting. I was hoping the sj world could point me to some good enterprise stories that I could read online, or at least talk about some ideas that made for good stories if they aren't online. I guess I'm kinda fishing for some good examples to lread, as well as any ideas I could localize for my area.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Not sports specific, but if you want to learn how to be a writer (with a big, phat W), or tackle big subjects, here you go.

  3. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    The few that I've tackled have come from just a question or thought. The first was on the lack of a minor league baseball team in town certainly big enough. It was a summer project and spent hours searching through archives and documentation before I started talking to anyone.
  4. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    How do you guard against enterprise stories becoming simply long stories with a lot of quotes from experts?

    I know it sounds strange but we have this rotation now where writers who are offseason must come up with an enterprise stories and my time is coming in the next month which means I need to get started now. But I've read the first four of these and they all seem to have this in common -- they are long, not very ground breaking and could have been done in half the space and time.

    I guess my question is better asked as this - -what makes a good enterprise story good?
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I've never thought about it until now for some reason. I started as a writer and was considered pretty good (you'll have to take my word for it). And I've edited a lot of enterprise stories.

    But I don't know that I ever really wrote a really big one ... only thing that was close was a Hugh Culverhouse magazine story, and they cut the shit out of it, so I never really counted it.
  6. Given where you work, Rusty, you may want to take a look at this thread:

  7. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    This may be overly simplistic, but I think a "good" enterprise story is simply one that breaks new ground. That's kind of the definition of "enterprise," isn't it? (I could look it up, but I'm lazy).
    In this context, I take that to mean stories that aren't being told anywhere else (and not just anywhere else locally), or that delve deeper into a subject than is normally done, or that examine a new angle of an oft-told story. Basically, stories that add to the common knowledge, not just regurgitate it (by endlessly quoting experts).
    And I think you guard against the expert trap by going underneath them and writing it about the actual people who are living whatever it is you're writing about. Sure, use an "expert" or two to add context and authority to your thesis, but they don't really know anything you can't find out with some good reporting, so tell it through your reporting, not through the words of experts. It'll be more interesting that way.
  8. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Go to http://apse.dallasnews.com/ and click on the contest winners from a few years ago (the most recent winners aren't linked).
  9. Here's a tip: Don't get intimidated. Enterprise stories don't have to be 50-inch stories or three-day series. I've done plenty of daily or two-day enterprise stories that are anywhere from 15 to 25 inches that begin with an idea from my daily reporting.

    It's the easiest way. When you're doing your daily reporting consider ways to expand it. Sometimes it's just the matter of asking yourself a question. Look for trends and tie them together. Most of mine are on the news side but I'm sure people here can give you sports examples. Once you master that, then you'll have the confidence for larger projects.
  10. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member


    There ya go.

    I'm working on a few things here and there. The thread here about the rising cost of playing baseball gave me the idea to look into the issue in my neck of the woods. Of our 30 high schools, maybe one-third have a baseball and softball team.

    My state is looking at reclassifying the divisions within the next two years.

    Also, my town is building a second high school for fall 2009. If I stick around, I'm sure I can generate a shit load of stories about the new school's athletic department and the effect on the current school athletic department.

    I'm always looking for sports news stories. Profiles and gamers were all this place did for a while, so I'm trying to do stuff that was neglected for a long time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  11. Dale Cooper

    Dale Cooper Member

    To add to STL's take -- find the people who are most affected by this phenomenon, or whatever it may be, in your area, and keep the focus on how it affects them. If you can't really tie it strongly to the people you cover on a daily basis, then you're probably writing enterprise for the sake of writing enterprise.
  12. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    enterprise isn't in our dictionary where I work
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page