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How much community/youth sports is too much?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ogre, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    I actually like this idea. One, it gets it out of our section. Two, it gets people to the Web site.
  2. ogre

    ogre Member

    The web idea is good, as long as your yokels can use the computer. Not always the case. Here is a confounding example from yesterday: an email with youth baseball results shows up. I open the attachment and am blown away by a hand written roundup.

    Follow the logic. Hand written. Scanned into computer. Then emailed. Almost pooped em on that one.
  3. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    To answer the question: To some chains, too much is never enough.
  4. Kato

    Kato Well-Known Member

    We stick anything age 15 and under on our agate page. Even that seems like much to me. But we'll do roundups and even cover 16 year olds on up in the summer, that includes baseball, softball, soccer. What I always found odd about that is we will not (and should not) publish JV results during fall, winter and spring, yet VFW baseball, even the B-team version of the Under 16 fastpitch team not only get in but sometimes get covered live.

    I sometimes think that managing editors are lying when they say youth sports sells papers, and, really, it's just a cover for making reporters justify their existence in the summer months when there is no high school and college sports locally.

    The flaw in management's theory that youth sports will save the business, is that those stories and roundups only serve the parents of the players. They don't appeal to a broad range of readers at all. Why aren't we concentrating more on stories that will pique the interest of all potential readers? Otherwise we just get a random mom and dad who drop an extra four bits on a paper once a week because their little Johnny went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. If you have a 25,000 circulation, how many readers even glance at that story?

    That's one of the reasons why I've proposed covering more local running races, biking events and triathons at our paper. At least those are local events with adults as well as some interest to a broad range of interest to readers. Of course, all we did was add that coverage to our youth sports news.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Youth sports online: I may have made this point before, but I think high school/youth parents could end up being a big ally in the debate over how to deal with space. Reason -- if we go all local, shutting out a big chunk of our readership who isn't into HS/youth sports, then that's less potential readership for Johnny Superstar's lawn bowling victory. At least, that's how you sell it to them. Which is probably why youth sports going online-exclusive won't work, because Mama Superstar wants to clip the story out of her newspaper, not print it off the website.

    The more local, the better: Depends on what the local is. Some newspapers, daily and non-daily, have fallen in love with the idea of community journalism, but in doing so they put their thrust in the "community" and not the "journalism". You see it in hyperlocal/participatory/citizen journalism, where all non-libelous submissions are accepted and "news" is the newest four-letter word. And even if it's not that extreme, there's this tendency to make mountains out of molehills because they happen to be located in the readership area.

    Case in point -- I went to visit my family in North Carolina this past week. They are served by two newspapers, the Local That Shall Not Be Named For It Sucks Mightly Courier, and the Charlotte Observer. The local paper had maybe one page of non-county news in it, and one page of non-county sports, if that. Now I'm not a resident, but even if I was, my world does not end at the county border. So if I have time for one newspaper, guess what? Hello Observer, goodbye Craptown Crapper, which regularly doesn't have Monday's Legion/Little League baseball stories (quoteless at that) until Wednesday's edition because apparently the writers fail at life.

    "Give them something they can't get elsewhere" is fine, as long as it's also paired with "Give them something they WANT." Most local-intense papers get the former, but not the latter.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I work at a 15K daily (county of about 50,000) and even we don't go all-out on youth stuff. We play up the summer tournaments (we had about five state tournaments this summer, plus a couple of big ones the local Cal Ripken league puts on), which is fine by me. Even though it sucks a hairy ass crack, it's a way to justify a paycheck as a writer in the summer, in a town where high school sports is king. And we still give a pretty good offering of state and national stuff from day to day, and there's plenty of time for features and what-not in other local sports.
    During the year, though, we print short roundups in our local sports calendar twice a week. You can see how many people give a damn then, because it's the same five or six teams submitting stuff over and over.
  7. Blue_Water

    Blue_Water Member

    I live in a Metro area. I get the twice weekly paper (Wednesday and Friday) and the major daily on the weekends delivered to my house. From a journalistic standpoint the weekly paper sucks and the daily is very solid. But it doesn't matter to me. I skim at least every page in the weekly. The daily? I pull out the coupons for my wife to clip and probably about 50 percent of the time I'll skim through the sports section. There are many Saturdays when I'll throw the daily in the garbage without even pulling it out of the plastic bag.

    I get pissed off when I see how crappy the writing is in the weekly, but the fact is, I'm much more interested in what's going on around where I live.
  8. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    my shop plans on playing up youth sports next year. Even plan on taking it to the next level with stories on rec men's volleyball leagues and shit like that. Hopefully I won't be around when THAT happens!
  9. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Preach on brother.
  10. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    The last paragraph is something I especially agree with.

    Let's put it this way _ we've never run Little League standings, and no one has ever complained. But miss the NASCAR race's lineup, and you'll get 20 phone calls.
  11. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    I fully realize that, unfortunately, print is going that way. I was just saying, for a journalistic standpoint, it shouldn't.
  12. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    Has the theory that kiddie sports are more popular with readers than high school sports been tested? Aren't high schoolers just bigger kids with parents who buy and read the paper, too?
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