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Isn't there a better option?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Reacher, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    My major East Coast paper this morning had a giant (almost full-page) black-and-white, poor-quality hockey photo and a quick note that the game ended too late for my edition.

    Isn't there a better way?

    I read the paper with lunch, so now I'm not getting news that's 10+ hours old. I know that's the reality of print, but shouldn't papers be adjusting to it. That giant photo might was well be giant text saying, "WE CAN'T GET YOU TIMELY NEWS."

    Also, why waste space with a big, bad BW photo? Put something in there. A column? Feature? NFL preview stuff? There was time to plan. The 10 p.m. puck drop was not a last-minute thing.

    I know the realities of newspapers. But these kinds of things make me wonder if people are trying hard enough. I'm pretty sure this kind of thing is getting worse. I see the giant BW space-filler photos all the time now. I don't ever remember seeing them a few years ago.

    It seems newspapers are responding to the increased competition by dropping the quality.
  2. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    The Internet. /fredrick
  3. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    No question quality has gone down with the dwindling staffs and shifting deadlines, and I think some remaining folks aren't as motivated. That said, that paper should have had a (better) plan to plug that hole. It definitely makes it obvious that you aren't giving the readers something they probably expected. Have a wire column or feature ready if there's any chance it's not going to end in time. It's not that hard, but some people are just lazy. There could be other circumstances in this particular case, but I'm seeing it a lot more, too.
  4. Reacher, you don't say whether you got the paper's final edition. If there was a later edition, you're seeing the plan, use a large photo to plug the space. It's the quickest way to change gears for a late remake.

    Maybe the game ran long, like an overtime or shootout. Maybe it was a weekend night when many papers have earlier deadlines. And yes, deadlines in general are getting earlier. Because papers are cutting staff, not just in sports and the general newsroom, but in the pressroom, too. My newspaper laid off one of two press crews, the upshot being that deadlines were moved 1 1/2 hours earlier.

    FYI, newspapers have used giant photos to plug early editions since forever. The most photographed major league baseball player would be the Cubs shortstop, because they would play day games and photogs could always count on a relay to first for a double play.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Seriously. Refer to the web. Then when you get to the web refer back to the paper. Maybe something that you don't have on the web. Box scores, agate, some other crap. I don't know. Just cross promote the hell out of it.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I see the point, but I also see the original poster's point. If one buys the paper for the NEWS (as opposed to the classifieds and such), they get left feeling pretty empty.
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