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Is this a story for me ...

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

  1. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    DUIs are exempt in some states from the minor/not minor distinction.

    If he gets charged, it'll be public record. It is in my state.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Not in NJ, wicked.
    I've been through this a few times where we "know" thingsa but can't write them because of no documentation or on the record verification.
  3. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    A few times? That's our lives every day.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I talke it neither of you gentlemen works for the New York Post.
  5. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    No doubt, cover your ass with plenty of good sources. When I was talking about anonymous coaches, I meant getting stuff off the record just to get an idea of what was going on. If they happen to talk on the record, bonus.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You can get all the off the record stuff imaginable as background but without multiple on the record sources .. police, school admins, etc... you can not write the story.
  7. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Completely agree. This is the type of story that if you half-ass it, you are setting yourself up for libel.
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I think I just found my angle.
    The kid's been expelled from school and cannot take part in any gaduation activities.
    He's still playing baseball because the parents threatened action against the school.
    Also, do you think contacting the pro team that drafted him would be relevent?
  9. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Yes, contacting the pro team is relevant. It's not new practice to question a draft pick's record, see Christian Peter.

    And how can the kid not be allowed to participate in graduation, but he can play baseball? Wouldn't the state association have something to say about it?

    Rhody, good luck, man.
  10. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    Don't discourage. I think it isn't as hard as you say. You can run a sourced story not for attribution. Just because you have a source to confirm, doesn't mean you have to put all your sources in the story.

    First thing you do? Get a copy of the police report, even if redacted, get it. Try and get the plate number of the vehicle. Then, either confirm that the car is of somoene in that house through DMV (if they still allow plate as open records), or go to the kids house and see if that car is in the driveway.

    Then, see if you can talk the arresting officer NOT FOR ATTRIBUTION. If he can confirm it's the kid, it's golden.

    If you cover all those bases, try and get the coach to confirm it was his kid, you don't need Joe Blwo officer on the record saying it for attribution.

    The kid was arrested or he wasn't. If you said he was arrested, but he wasn't, then you are in trouble. But, if he is arrested, the nothing is going to happen.

    No one is going to come out and say it's a lie that he was arrested when he was arrested.

    Then go to the coach and asks if he was aware that the kid was arrested.If he says no comment, ask it again. It's a simple yes or no. Work your way up to AD then to principal to school board.

    Also, call the kid and parents up (don't worry about it, they will probably blow you off, or get angry, or they may even talk).

    I regret recently that a star girls basketball hoops star we had was arrested on a gun charge. It wasn't my deal, but we let the juvenille off the hool with the "it's a news story" and "just kids" line.

    I am thinking about it now, and am not too happy.
  11. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    Wicked has a good point -- contacting the state high school governing body is relevant.
  12. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    As cliche as it sounds, leave no stone unturned with this one. You hear a name, talk to that person. This is the kind of story where there can not be too many sources. The more you have, the more credible it is.
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