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How would you cover the Super Bowl?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Let's say you run a Baltimore or San Francisco sports desk. You have to deal with all the financial realities of the times, but you also have to cover the Super Bowl without embarrassing yourself. And for the purpose of this exercise, you don't have McClatchey or Tribune to draw on for support.

    How many writers would you send? What kinds of stories would you have them pursue? How would you break up responsibilities?

    We're talking about the entire week, not only game day.
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    A "beat guy" for each team.
    A columnist
    An "extra" to do GA features related to game
    A features writer to focus on "spectacle/New Orleans" stuff.
    Two photogs.
    If I'm Baltimore, I send an editor to help with flow because of the time difference. SF has a little more lag time to sort things out, but assign an editor to oversee coverage, perhaps send an editor in for the game to help coordinate coverage.
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    For a Super Bowl week in which YOUR TEAM IS IN IT, I'd rather hope financials aren't a worry.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Baltimore would need an additional writer to relate everything about the game to The Wire.
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    It's all relative. You might send eight people now, but you would have sent 12 in 1995.

    I don't think I would send two photographers. I'd go with this:

    Editor: This person would coordinate coverage and work with the home desk as well as do a little writing and compile notebooks.
    Three sports reporters: These people would focus on the teams and what's happening inside the Super Bowl world. They would be asked to write a lot of small items throughout the day, probably netting about three to five online bylines per day. Those shorter items would turn into the notebooks. They also would be working on more traditional stories, but I wouldn't emphasize those as much.
    Two sports columnists: In addition to writing their columns, they would help with those short posts and making sure we had every angle covered. But mostly, they would be there to give us the big coverage. They serve as the feature writers, too.
    One life reporter: This person would cover the Super Bowl from the fan's perspective and might not even be credentialed for the game. They would work with groups of fans from the area and also cover the local scene in New Orleans. They also would work on at least a few business-related stories as to the finances of reaching the Super Bowl.
    One photographer: A major metropolitan newspaper ought to have at least two sports photo wire serves, likely meaning AP and Getty or US Presswire/USA Today Sports. This photographer wouldn't focus on getting the obvious shots but rather the things unique to our publication.

    YGBFKM Guest

    No reason to send a life reporter. One of the sports reporters can cover that specific storyline, if it's determined to be needed. That way, you can send two photographers. One photographer for an event like the Super Bowl that's going to end relatively late is useless. Send at least two or none. The "obvious" shots are often the main shots, so if you're willing to sacrifice unique content on the photography end, why not sacrifice it on the copy end. Wire services provide that, too.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Send 20 people, decide you'll take a pass on covering every road ACC basketball game this year.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I disagree. You should have a person getting the individual stories about the fans and the city. There's a lot to cover about the Super Bowl that doesn't involve football, and your football reporters will be busy enough. And those stories won't come from the wire.

    The wire photography of the game itself and even the week leading up to the game is more than adequate. Having one good photographer allows him or her to focus squarely on your specific needs. The understanding would be that wire photos probably would lead the game coverage and be the main art most days, at least in sports. There's a reasonable argument that you could hand that life reporter a camera for his or her stories, then use wire art for all of the other stuff. But I'm guessing AP, Getty and US Presswire will have a combined eight to 10 photographers at the game. You'll get plenty of game coverage from them. And the readers aren't going to notice the credit line.

    YGBFKM Guest

    So why not do that for the copy? Just send fewer reporters, save some money and rely on the wires for the obvious, main content.
  10. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    I have no problem with one photog for the pregame stuff, but you need at least two on game day. You're just taking too many chances assuming the wires will provide everything (or even close to everything) you need for the biggest event of your year.
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I would use wires for some things. There's more than enough other stuff to write about. The AP can't fill a daily Super Bowl section.

    If you have two great sports photographers, sending the second one out for just the game makes sense. If your photographers are just going there to give you local photos or because you don't think your wire services will have good enough images, that's not justification enough. I've filled a six-page Super Bowl mini-section with all wire photos. They do great work for these events.
  12. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    This year, the AP couldn't fill a daily page (of anything worth reading).
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