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"I have a story idea."

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kingcreole, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Usually when people email or call to let us know about a story idea, they at least get considered. But I can honestly say I've never seen an email like we got yesterday.

    There's a young woman from our area who is one of the most popular athletes we've ever had in our area. She was a two-time area athlete of the year, played major college basketball in state and had tons of success. Not surprisingly, she was drafted in the WNBA and made the team.

    I can't say for sure how many stories we've done on her. Dozens probably. The last, of course, was the day she got drafted. She even called us right after she got drafted to let us know. She's a reporter's dream.

    Well, we get an email yesterday - from an alleged subscriber and loyal reader - wondering why we've "never" (yes, she said never) had done a story on this girl. She proceeded to give us brief biography of this player's accomplishments.

    I guess she already got an email reply, but I mentioned we should also send a few PDF files of the sports front with this girl on it. Good idea or bad?
  2. RedSmithClone

    RedSmithClone Active Member

    I would definitely send some PDFs with a simple e-mail that says "Mrs. Mucking Fuch, just in case you missed it . . . "

    Then just attach the file(s) and send.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I always love it when people call to complain that something didn't get in the paper, then hear them stutter when I point out it was at the top of our front page.
  4. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    We actually instituted a rule (no longer enforced) around 20 years ago that Page A-1 had to play the story above the fold if they were taking any local sports story.

    This came about because a local H.S. kid set a national record with his performance in a football game and it got a small head and three inches on the cover below the fold before jumping inside A section.

    People in our neck of the woods had been conditioned to having a separate sports front for high school sports on Sundays. When they didn't see the story there or on the regular sports front, 4 or 5 of them flipped out and called to let us know we were total shitheads for missing a great story.
  5. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    We got a nasty e-mail recently, I should say ANOTHER nasty e-mail from this guy who said that we now have gone too far, a four-page Sunday section with no news. No wonder your newspaper is going out of business ........
    The bonehead bought the bulldog.
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    What bonehead sold it to him?

    Maybe the guy legitimately thought that was now the Sunday paper after another wave of cutbacks.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Never is a long time. We get that from time to time from callers.

    My favorite is when we run a story every day for 3 or 4 days in the run-up to something, say the Kentucky Derby, and on the Thrsday before there's no room and so we skip a day. "Hey, you guys gonna run anything in the paper about the Derby?"

    No, probably not.
  9. doug_funnie

    doug_funnie New Member

    I love the bitch who emails the paper complaining about not seeing a story - online - when it ran as the top story on the sports front.

    She subscribes to our 'online edition.'
  10. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    How about when it comes from another employee of the paper?

    Just a couple of nights ago, I'm the ripper room getting ready to drop the last couple pages for the night, when the press guy making the plates (he's the one who takes the negatives from us) comes over and starts talking. I should point out this guy is considered a bit of a doofus, and is always suggesting things we should do in the paper.

    Now, as someone on the news desk, I edit/proof every local story at some point, and hardly a day has gone by where we haven't had some sort of article concerning cuts in a local school district. In fact, back in May we ran a three-part series on the cuts, (running on A1 for three Sundays) zeroing in on certain teachers, administrators, parents and students and how the cuts affect them and their programs. These stories had a special frame and layout and took up about 3/4 of their respective front pages.

    Back to our pressman -- that's right, he starts telling me we need to run some stories about the budget cuts and how the school teachers and staff are affected, and starts to elaborate on what he'd really like to see.

    Then, I reply, "You mean like that three-part (name of series) we did on school budget cuts that took up most of A1?" His reply was very succinct: "Oh."

    We had a running joke on the desk that he would be asking us sometime next week if we would be doing anything on Michael Jackson's death.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    People don't remember positive stories. But if you ever wrote a negative word about the lass, I'm sure your reader would remember that with his/her dying breath.

    Oh, and don't bother with the PDFs. The reader will say that sure, you had a smallish story during the draft but you want to know what she is doing now.
  12. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    I got reamed out anonymously for not running the NCAA Tournament bracket when it ran on page 2B in Monday's paper.
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