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Guess what? It's about access.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Leo Mazzone, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Can't see how this would be an end-around with the SID....
    The kid isn't playing sports now, which takes the SID right out of the picture... sell THAT to yer boss....;)
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Just trying to make a point. If you get along great with an SID, fine.

    But if an athletic department goes so far as to try to control access to players not on the team, I wouldn't expect that following their rules the other 365 days of the year is ever going to get me any preferential treatment so I would bust their chops just for fun.

    I have seen many times reporters play by the rules and hang on grimly to promises of exclusives and their "exclusive" may mean they get a call at 10 p.m. and the TV stations at 10:01.
  3. accguy

    accguy Member

    My feeling on all of this is pretty simple: Play nice most of the time, but don't let rules keep you from doing your job.

    The SID on my main beat and I have a pretty good understanding. For normal stuff, I'm going to play along, but if a player is arrested, suspended, leaves the team, coach gets fired, etc., I'm calling. I understand that he has a job to do, he understands that I have a job to do and sometimes those two things don't jive.

    I'm convinced that it doesn't have to be controversial between a writer and the SID. Be professional, don't raise your voice, don't swear and almost always things will OK in a day or two.
  4. sartysnopes

    sartysnopes Member

    Stop thinking like a sportswriter -- and all the official channels -- and be a reporter. If anything, the amount of attention this SID has given you about this player who left should hint that something really shady went on. Chase it and stop worrying about the SID.
  5. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    I'm a former SID, about a year out of the business, and I often got lots and lots of directives from the top. My boss -- the AD -- was a terrible micromanager, and that made it hard to work for him.

    I think I had a good working relationship with our beat writer. I realized he had a job to do and, whether it made us look bad or not, I certainly didn't try to impede him. And he also did us some favors occasionally, so that's why when there was something breaking, he would get a call and the TV guys wouldn't. We weren't the Big State School and the TV folks treated us like we weren't. So no favors for those guys.
  6. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Thanks, Flip. From talking to colleagues, do you know if that's typical M.O.?
  7. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    It just depends on the school; some ADs trust their SIDs to do the right thing and leave them alone to do it. Others, not so much. I guess it's like any other place of business. Where I am now -- teaching college journalism -- it's up to me to make sure I'm doing what I need to be doing. Help and direction are there in abundance if I need it, but I'm trusted to do the right thing.
  8. Blue_Water

    Blue_Water Member

    Former SID. Generally the coaches/ADs are pains in the asses when people write about players that haven't had a positive experience. They'll blame the SID for the story. It's as simple as that. You writing that story is going to make my life miserable for some period of time.

    Still, I'd help out behind the scenes as much as I could on these kinds of stories for two reasons.

    1) I knew by being as honest as I could, then I could make sure the story didn't get blown up more than it really should be. When people try to deny access, reporters rightfully get pissed. The result is often a story that makes things seem worse than they actually are.

    2) I want to maintain and/or build a good relationship with the reporter.

    What doesn't help the reporters that are fair is the fairly large number of reporters that only "knock on the door" when something bad is happening - particularly when you're working at a small school.
  9. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    This happened to me once, with a former beat reporter. One of our baseball players got drunk and left a message for the reporter saying how the entire baseball team was about to revolt against the coach. Beat guy called me asking about it. I told him I hadn't heard anything, which was the truth. He said he would go to practice that day and talk to some players. He also asked me not to mention his visit to the coach. As soon as I got off the phone, I headed to the field to give the coach a heads-up. Had the reporter actually visited our ballpark one time in the previous three years, I might have helped him out. This time, no way.
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