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How to write an article about a sucky season?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Posey_Lynn96, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Posey_Lynn96

    Posey_Lynn96 New Member

    Hi, I am a high school student and I have to write an article about our schools tennis team. They did great last year, but this year they have lost 16 matches. How do I put a good spin on it so I don't step on any toes? I would love your honest opinions.
    Posey Lynn :)
  2. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    Re: How to write a article about a sucky season?

    Hoo boy. Is this legit?
  3. Posey_Lynn96

    Posey_Lynn96 New Member

    Re: How to write a article about a sucky season?

    Yeah... the coach only gave me two quotes about how they're improving, but they have lost every game.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: How to write a article about a sucky season?

    Tennis match. Not game. An article, as you have in your post. Not a article as you have in subject.
  5. Posey_Lynn96

    Posey_Lynn96 New Member

    Can anyone actually help me or is this forum only for trolling exasperated high school journalists?
  6. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Write what happened. Don't sugarcoat, don't overwrite. Let the facts tell the story.
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Talk to some of the players too. And you may just end up doing the story we love most here, about how hard they're trying. Also ... What Moddy Said about terminology.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I did help you. So did some others.
  9. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    First rule...don't put any spin on it.
  10. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Posey_Lynn96, I like your gumption (even if you probably want to avoid calling Moderator1 a troll, for future reference). My high school newspaper was nothing more than school-authorized fluff.

    Here's what you do:

    1. Figure out what the difference is between this team and last year's team. Interview players and coaches with specific, real questions rather than softballs.
    2. Spell that out for readers. Back up everything you write with facts. Don't beat around the bush, don't make assumptions and don't take spin for fact.
    3. Take view of the big picture. You understand, at this point, why things didn't work out. Is there reason to think those issues will be addressed for the future?
    4. Print what you know, not what you think or what you're told to think.
  11. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Speaking as someone who does edit a high school newspaper, this smells way more like a sock puppet than an actual question. OP goes from earnest youngster to critic of Internet message boards in three posts.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    posey - ok, here goes: if they kicked tail a year ago and they sucked this year.
    - ID this as a rebuilding year ... if indeed it was.
    - reinterview coach and ask him/her if it was a rebuilding year, and if in fact it was, a.) what did his/her team learn this year? b.) how is her/her going to learn from this year's rough win-loss record? c.) what will the coach focus on next year heading into the season? d.) how was the team's moral through the season? e.) who is going to lead the team into next season? f.) are there any key losses? g.) and this is the most important question to ask: is there anything important about this season or next that i haven't asked you that you'd like to add?

    interview at least one player who will play a key role on next year's team and insert quotes when you write about one or more of the following: ANY OF THE QUESTIONS ABOVE. and then interview one of the important players that is leaving and get a quote about something that the team learned and use that person as a senior voice of authority.

    most of all, always lean toward quoting a player first. bottom line is, is the players are the ones between the lines. at the end of the day, your readers want to know what those who actually play the sport think, not what the guy/gal who is pist because his/her team is 0-16 thinks.

    also, lede with the most interesting concept that might/could link this year's team to next year's team and go from there. if you can 360 the piece - make the first paragraph and the final paragraph kinda mesh - you hit a home run.

    also, if you give me a little advance notice, spellcheck your story and limit your piece to 25 paragraphs or less, i'll give it a first read and a bit of advice if you'd like before you turn it in. i'd pretty much assure you an A on the piece. but one misspelled word, and i'm out.
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