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Is this a story for me ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rhody31, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I work at a weekly that covers eight schools over five different papers. We're owned by a company that owns three other dailies.
    Anyway, a star pitcher - kid was drafted over the weekend - from the coverage area of the dailies was pulled over and arrested in our coverage area on DUI charges. He's a minor and we got his name from a source that def. shouldn't have given it to us.
    His private high school was going to kick him off the team, parents threatened to sue, kid stays on the team. State HS association does nothing.
    The sports section that covers this kid gave it zero play. None. Let news write the story as a minor arrested for DUI.
    Am I wrong in being furious that no one even debated covering this? Should I tell someone that I'll write the damn thing?
  2. OrangeGrad

    OrangeGrad Member

    Get on it and write it yourself. That's how you go from the small time to the big time.
  3. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    How good is your source? Are you 100 percent certain that kid phenom was arrested?
  4. Do it, but be damn sure you have the story 100 percent right and your editor, ME and publisher are fully on board with going with the story.

    You run it and you don't have every fact nailed down to the T and you could be out on your butt with your best job offers coming from Waffle House and McDonald's.
  5. Get a police report. Warrant would be great, too. Don't go on the word of some anonymous source.
  6. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Don't write it without the police report. That's your bulletproof vest.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    1. See if your source can get you a non-redacted copy of the police report, if the name even was redacted.
    2. In many states, you'll be able to find out his name because it's a traffic incident. In our police log, we run names of 16- and 17-year-olds if the incident happened behind the wheel, since something like a DUI/DWI stays on your driving record.
  8. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    And make sure it's the player and not sme guy with the same name. Just ask Eddie Johnson how much that sucks.
  9. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Source is a cop.
    I may have hit a major problem, because our editor just quit; I'm hoping this team makes a deep run in the playoffs, because that will give me an extra week do start doing some reporting.
  10. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    It will still be a story regardless of playoff status. This is definitely a story and don't fall prey to the "he's just a kid" ideal that some papers use. If he's dumb enough to ruin his life and get a DUI, he'll have to live with it being in the paper. Go after it and break some new angles that your dailies didn't cover. Talk to coaches, or more likely, assistant coaches that might talk under without being credited. Use the anger you had to make this a clip for your file.
  11. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    This pisses me off to a degree, since the kid probably thought he could get off because he was XXXXXXX.

    Screw that.

    Show the kid that people like him and Paris Hilton to get effed over if they eff up.
  12. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    First, you need an unredacted police report with the kid's name. Good luck getting that on a minor.
    Then, you need someone from the school -- preferably an adminstrator-- to go ON THE RECORD that they know of the DUI but did not discipline him. Good luck getting anyone to talk ON THE RECORD!
    Then you have to talk to the State Assn, who will tell you it's not their job, it's up to the school.
    Then you need to talk to the parents ON THE RECORD!
    If you get ALL OF THAT ON THE RECORD you have a story.
    Otherwise you ain't got shit.

    Anonymous cop = NO GOOD
    Anonymous coaches = NO GOOD
    You're dealing with a private school...they will tell you nothing because they don't have to.

    Like it or not, you're dealing with a 17-year-old...a minor..a juvenile in the eyes of the law.
    If you try to write this with nothing but anonymous sourcing, no self-respecting newspaper would run it.
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