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Is this really necessary?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Doc Holliday, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This guy seems to think we need to explain ourselves because readers are too damn dumb to figure it out. I don't think they need an explanation, and I think most readers are fairly educated and smart enough to know better. I would have shit-canned this piece the minute it crossed my desk ...

    Sunday Morning QB: Dear readers, we do not hate (or like) your team
  2. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    The butthurt is strong in that one.
    murphyc and Doc Holliday like this.
  3. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    We have some readers — very dumb ones — who think we do play favorites.
  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    I did not say all readers. I said most. It's a fact most newspaper readers have a higher education than most. Whining to them doesn't seem very productive.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Brie? Swiss? American? What kind of cheese would he like with that whine?
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I'll tackle this one from a slightly different angle.

    I'm not so sure the reader WANTS to hear from you that you don't care about their team or any other team. I mean, the guy probably feels pretty good about his "I'm above all this" column, but the reader doesn't want him to be above all this.
  7. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    The "Panel of Experts" sounds lame. No wonder they get complaints of bias if you're picking winners and losers and calling yourselves "experts" in the process.
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    If that ran online, I'm OK with it. In print, ugh.

    We've all been where that guy's been. Mid-to-late 20s, you know more than everyone, you're soooooo proud of how unbiased you are and a win or loss doesn't matter to you. It's typical high school reporter mindset. I had it at the same age.

    Things change. When I had my first kid a then-co-worker said I wasn't going to be as harsh as I was. I told him no way. I'm straight journo, thru and thru. Turns out he was right. When I do get a chance to cover things, I'm not "rooting" for the team I cover; but I'm not rooting against them either. If you're covering high school sports like it's pros, you need some perspective. That doesn't mean don't work a Friday Night like it's not a Sunday afternoon; just think about what you write.

    Have fun covering high schools. Don't be jaded. Life's a lot more fun if you just relax and enjoy it.

    (And if you really want to shut the parents up, keep a running tally of what teams you cover and what sports you cover and publish it online for all to see. Then when parents say "you never cover us because you hate us" you can back up your point with facts, not overwritten columns like this)
  9. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Sports departments have been doing that for decades. Hell, I was part of a "panel of experts" when I was a stringer at 16, for HS football and basketball. It dovetails nicely with something Rhody said right after you. You've got to have fun covering HS sports.

    No harm, no foul.

    Yeah, I like where you wound up in contrast to where you were.
  10. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    No, it was not necessary or enjoyable.

    CFB is a little different. In CFB, there pretty much are unabashed homers - especially on the recruiting sites - who are "for" whoever the coach is because they need to kiss the coaches" rear ends to get info on recruits.
  11. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I believe readers were even dumber during newspapers' record-profit years of the '90s.
  12. Roscablo

    Roscablo Member

    This is so true. My first full-time daily beat job was in a town with two main high schools. No other sports so to speak. Can obviously imagine the rivalry. I just hated when people said we favored one over the other, and of course everyone on each side believed we favored the other. I don't think I ever wrote a full column on it, but I know I put it into words a time or two how wrong they were. Heck, I went to high school in a different state that had the same name as one of the two schools, so I thought I was clever one time saying I was biased toward the high school name, but not the one in this town! Sort of cringe worthy.

    I was young and dumb at that job but did fairly well and had a lot of freedom. I did a few things I'd like to take back -- wrote a very arrogant farewell column that I still regret today, for one a biggie. If I was in a similar situation now more than 15 years later I don't think I'd give two craps about the rivalry or what people said. I wouldn't even carve it up as having kids, although I do think at the very least that's made me more patient. It's just one of those learning as you go things, I guess.
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