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Following high school athletes on Twitter

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JexFraequin, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. JexFraequin

    JexFraequin New Member

    I feel like I'm still pretty new to the guidelines regarding social media. Some members of the media in the town I work in follow high school athletes -- football players, volleyball players, soccer players -- on Twitter. Some don't. Everyone has their own reasons. What do you do and why?
  2. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    With what kids put up on Twitter, I think you've got to follow them. And I'm not just talking the bad stuff. If a kid you cover is a big recruit and puts his college choice on Twitter, you don't want to find out when the competition re-tweets him.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Nothing unethical about following them. I wouldn't take anything I read there as gospel. I would always make a phone call, or at least an email, to confirm anything before printing it. People have been known to hack certain accounts and post all sorts of nonsense.

    So, yeah, follow along, but take everything with a grain of salt.
  4. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I'd bet more than half the time the "hacking" is someone regretting something they posted themselves. Or they're friends getting their phone and screwing with them.
  5. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Member

    Our top football recruit announced his commitment on Twitter recently ... on a Sunday morning.
  6. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Nothing wrong with it. Like already mentioned, be sure it's him/her before you base a story on a tweet though.
    Twitter allows accounts to be private, and allows users to block any follower, so if the kid doesn't want you following them, they won't let you. Heck, many athletes love it when sports reporters retweet them or mention their twitter handle.
  7. Agree with it being OK to follow HS athletes. In fact if you're a preps reporter, I'd recommend it. I have gotten story ideas, picture IDs and other info from the athletes and coaches themselves that follow our account and that we follow. Plus lets face it we all know print isn't the in thing with the kiddos and if you do interact with them and get a few interested in our media outlet's product so much the better.
  8. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I'd vote for no following because in most cases you don't have to. Just search for the kid's name or handle if you need something. If they choose to keep stuff private, don't go prying.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It is a good way to get story ideas, too. Stuff you might never have known and never thought to ask.

    Some people post too much info. One person tweeted about his family going on vacation and, sure enough, the house was robbed while they were away. Can't confirm if there was a link or mere coincidence. But, still, too much info in the hands of the wrong people can be disasterous. I would never post that I was interviewing for a new job or anything like that.

    Bottom line, you gotta assume anything you post will be read by your worst enemy.
  10. JPsT

    JPsT Member

    For your sanity, I'd recommend making a list. Call it "Local Preps Athletes" or whatever and put a column in your Twitter client. That way, you still see their post but have it filtered somewhere you don't have to see their 'average teenager' posts every time you check Twitter. You could even make it public and put a widget on your site.
  11. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    I think you're crazy if you don't follow them. I think they get a little bit more of a leash than a college or pro athlete if they say something stupid.

    At my old stop, we had a kid Top 5 national running back tweet, "[head coach] ain't (and then a little emoticon of a piece of poop)." I let it go. I knew the staff were going back and forth with him constantly about his attitude, and I didn't really want to get into it. Coach resigned and took a college job a month or two later. I dunno.

    What I don't and won't do is accept friend requests from H.S. kids. I don't know if that's right or wrong, to see their life in that context, I'd just rather them not be seeing mine.
  12. SnoopyBoy

    SnoopyBoy Member

    I cover a major pro beat and follow everyone I can on Twitter who's associated with the team, including players' girlfriends and wives. More than once, a significant other has Tweeted something about a roster move before it was announced. The point is, follow anyone associated with your beat.
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