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Filing from afar

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spikechiquet, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    So it's that time of year for us prep writers, playoffs.

    That means heading to sectionals at schools we normally don't go to and most are more than a quick drive up the road (unless the local school is host). How many of you are running into trouble of getting a wireless connection or finding a place to file from after a game.

    Yes, I know. "Back in the day," this was a problem also and "we" didn't have the 'net, but serious folks...it's 2009, shouldn't most schools have a plan for accommodating out-of-town media for this problem. I called the AD for a school today and he acted like I was asking for a chuck of rock from Mars.

    My best bet will be going to a hotel parking lot or a McDonalds to find free Wi-Fi. (not like work would supply me with an option, gotta do it myself, of course)
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Is there any chance your shop would spring for a Verizon or Sprint Aircard to allow you to access from anywhere you can get cell-phone use?

    Or would that be too expensive considering the number of times you would actually have to use it?
  3. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I would love it...but since they don't even supply us with a work computer (using my home one), I doubt it.
  4. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    When I was in your boat, I would contact the AD beforehand and make sure that I could get into the school office after a game, and use their fax machine line to file copy. You might see if they have high-speed capability, and if so if you would be able to get into the school office to use it before you head out.

    Most of the people I dealt with were very helpful, and usually sympathetic to my plight.
  5. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Like I said, I did contact the AD, and he mumbled something about helping out. The thing is, last year, at this same place, he said he would help at halftime, then disappeared. After wandering the halls for 30 mins and finding a hook up that didn't work, I ended up at MickyDs.
  6. accguy

    accguy Member

    Here is another potential idea: Call the sports editor in the town where the game is being played and see if you can stop by their shop, write your story and file from there.

    People are generally very cool. I worked in several other newsrooms and had people file from mine when I worked in Podunk.
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Most of the McDonald's I've been to don't have free WiFi (though it only costs $3 and they'll even email you a receipt for expenses purposes). I usually look for a hotel parking lot.
  8. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    If your phone has Blue Tooth capabilities, get a Blue Tooth USB adapter ($10 or so) for your laptop. Link the two together and then you should be able to send whatever to your heart's content. And this is strictly for sending data only. I wouldn't watch youtube videos this way (unless you have some killer data plan).
  9. WrongWayStreet

    WrongWayStreet New Member

    If you have an iPhone, there's a way to use it as a modem. It doesn't require jailbreaking your phone, but apple didn't mean for people to be able to use it this way so it's not the most basic thing in the world to set up. There are instructions on a bunch of websites.

    Last time I asked an AD about filing after a game in his office he told me "that's where the refs change."
  10. Twinkilling

    Twinkilling Guest

    Here's what I tell my bums (we have about a dozen freelancers sending stories in on playoff Fridays):
    * Applebees always has open wireless networks.
    * Too high-falutin? Try the Flying-J truck stop.
    * Starbucks: Sometimes they shut off the network.
    * McDonald's works in a pinch.

    Here's the thing: Figure this out before the game. (underline and bold the word before). This isn't the kind of thing to be figuring out on deadline.
  11. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Fortunately, my paper provides me with an aircard, so I can file from a lot of places I might not have been able to in the past, although the gaps in coverage can be maddening. Generally, if I can, I prefer to go to the office of the local newspaper. Most of us prep guys at papers around Mississippi have been at it awhile and we all know each other pretty well, so there's usually not a problem borrowing some desk space at another paper. And, too, in most cases I'm covering teams in close-to-home territory right up to the state championships. In those cases where I've got to file from the site, I'll call ahead to the AD to let them know the situation, then get to the stadium early and meet with the coach whose office I'll be using. I've never had a problem with out-of-touch ADs and/or coaches. Oh, and I'll second what twinkilling says. Get whatever you're going to do figured out well before kickoff.
  12. Kevin Morales

    Kevin Morales Member

    Setting up shop in a hotel or McDonald's/Culver's parking lot is usually a good bet.

    In a pinch, I've just driven through neighborhoods near the school and kept pushing "search for wireless network" until I found an open one.
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