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Hiring people to take high school call-ins, build simple summaries

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by dog eat dog world, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. dog eat dog world

    dog eat dog world New Member

    This is a hit and miss if you do it, depending on how many colleges you have around you that produce semi-capable people.

    In some years, we get a real good one and he or she move on into something full time somewhere in the building or at another paper. In other years, we get a doofus that doesn't know/can't remember what a safety is or calls a solo home run a one-RBI hit.

    What I wonder is what evaluation you use/quick training steps you take in regard to hiring and growing people in these positions....but first and foremost, finding the right talent. Those of you in shallow talent pool areas, speak up.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    The guy who hired me at age 16 neglected to ask an important question after looking at my clips from the high school paper. And he was off my first night. His assistant walked over and said, "Did Randy ask if you could type?" I got by with one finger for a few years and then another boss said, "Tonight you start using two fingers." I still use two. I was fast with one, faster with two.
  3. JamesCimburek

    JamesCimburek New Member

    Because I ask my part-timers to cover an occasional game as well as take high school calls, I have had good luck getting journo majors from one of the local colleges. They want something to put on their resume and in their clip file, I want someone who wants to be here and is willing to do the work. It works out pretty well, and all of them have gotten jobs in journalism within three months of graduation.
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I've got a part-timer right now who can't get it out of his system that he has to win a Pulitzer with every three-graf brief.

    Put down the fucking thesaurus and tell me what the hell happened.
  5. ChipSouza

    ChipSouza Member

    We've gone a couple of ways with this. For preps, we do the standard 2-3 graf roundup on pretty much every sport. But for junior high basketball (yes, junior highs), we do a box score only, but get the name of every player who scores in the box. The reason for this is that we cover (corros, not staff) junior high football games. We can't do that for JH basketball because of the ridiculous way they play the games here (boys at one location, girls at the other), so we bring in a crew that calls every coach to get a box. We pay $50 and it takes about 3-3.5 hours of phone calls to get all the info tracked down. We've done this for 3-4 years, so most coaches know the routine. About half of them email the box score to us.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I try to get everyone together either the week or day before the season starts for a meeting.

    I show them an NFL/NBA boxscore and explain how it works. I don't assume anything. Because I never want anyone to be intimated into not asking questions, I answer everything once. I will sit there and explain what a first down is. ONCE. Now if you ask me the same thing five times, I might lose patience.

    I remind them to get the 5 Ws and the H in every story. Always get team records.

    I also try to provide as much help for them as I can each week. I get them a set of local team rosters (when I have them) to help with spelling. I get them updated standings (copied from the previous day's paper). I try to highlight which games on the schedule are most important and alert them of important stuff (Podunk has won 13 straight season openers, etc.). I put together a short fact sheet and hand each person a copy as they walk in the door.
  7. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I have full-timers like this. May we both go in peace.

    Good suggestions here already, but I agree with Mark2010 ... I've had good results from bringing the freelancers/part-timers in for a meeting before the season starts and showing them what we need. If you're signing up new people you need them to do paperwork anyway so you can pay them, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Have examples of roundups and box scores from your paper available so they can see exactly what they're shooting for.
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    You get what you pay for.
  9. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    If you get the chance to interview them, throw in rule-related questions, like "What is the infield fly rule?"
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    If the box score doesn't add up, the story doesn't make sense.
    Too many times, they get hung up trying to be cute and as a result, either blow deadline or come close to it.
    Questions come up and it helps to have a number to call a coach or statistician back.
    If a game was decided on a final play, that may overshadow the play of outstanding stud can't miss player
    I can't tell you how many times I've taken games from dippy coaches and stat folks who didn't know who scored "but it was number 10."
  11. Padre

    Padre Member

    we've got a guy entering his eighth or ninth year - takes summers off. Fast to the phone, zips through the boxscore, gets the improtant info (3-run HR, shot at the buzzer), then writes a paragraph sum.

    May be our staff MVP, or at least the one we can least afford to lose.
  12. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Frank, I'm like you. I never learned how to type properly. I started out with two fingers (on either hand), and now I'm up to three most of the time. I'm still faster than most people who use all 10 fingers.
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