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Five things I hate about the AP

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    What is this new thing where every story has "five things you need to know about .... "

    I fucking hate it. Just write a story. And it looks pretty dumb when you use two of these in the same section. I can see using one every once in a while when the situation calls for it (like a Q&A), but pretty much any big story these days is split into "five things." Anyone know why the AP went to this model? I'm assuming because most people these days have the attention span of a squirrel.

    Oh, and sorry if this is a D_B.
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's become a media staple. Websites love this crap. Politico, CNN...I always wonder. What happens if there are six or only four things you need to know?
  3. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    What bugs me is that what if you need to trim the story to fit? And you take out one completely? It really can screw things up. I can see why websites like it .. more page clicks to each thing. But it doesn't really work with a newspaper model.
  4. Calvin Hobbes

    Calvin Hobbes Member

    Agreed. Major pain in the rump. It seems almost Gannett-like.
  5. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Gannett needs AP to do it because Gannett doesn't have enough people left to do it themselves.
  6. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    This. RIP, inverted pyramid.
  7. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    I love when I get one of those and only have space for three things.

    Here's hoping it's a fad like that miserable three weeks they kept inserting the stupid Pro32 into the first six graphs of every NFL story.

    Sorry guys, but my favorite power rankings are the standings.
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    People seem to have fallen in love with lists in recent times. Everything has to have a ranking of some sort. Not a big fan of that.
  9. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    At least they've stopped inserting the "APPro32" ranking or whatever the hell it was called into every story.
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I find that if I use a story with the Five Things - the Southern Miss at Nebraska advance, for instance - and I also use the Top 25 capsule, there's a certain amount of duplication that needs to be edited out.

    I thought the format worked well in the preseason SEC advances. In some other uses, not so much.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    When I ran the Mountain West preview, I took the five things and put them in a breakout box.
  12. I really like this feature for several reasons. In fact, maybe there are three of them.

    KEEP IT SHORT: I don't have a lot of space, so a 350-word story pre-list is great if I need to get something in on a game but only have half a rail on an inside page.

    EASY TRIMMING: If the whole package is a few inches too long, I can easily just cut out the last list item and edit the "Here are five things to watch for in today's game" line.

    KEEP IT GENERAL: I know you and I and all the other denizens of this board probably enjoy a good, focused player feature, but if I've got a preview story on two SEC teams that are well-followed but neither is specifically more favored by my readers, this hits both bases at once. If space permits, I try to run a team-themed preview for each that week, but if I've only got room for one short story on the game in the gameday paper, it fits the bill.
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