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Jake Scott piece

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Columbo, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. I thought this too a little, but I imagine it was some copy editor going "you've got to put this stuff up at the top or the reader will stop reading." Yet another case of underestimating the intelligence of the reader thanks to the Gannett-izing of journalism. I think he could have buried it a little and still been fine. I think he may have wanted to, but hey, they just sent you to Hawaii to do a story, perhaps it's best not to argue.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That's quite an assumption. Here's another assumption, in my opinion a better one: that Hyde understood the story was Jake Scott, not David Hyde. Jeez. As a wise old man once said, we are not the story, we are the storytellers.
  3. blondebomber

    blondebomber Member

    You're apparently not one of many who thinks so. Just shouting that I'm wrong and ridiculing my criticism of you isn't a defense.

    And I'm just hoping the more you write, the better you'll type.
  4. Bruhman

    Bruhman Active Member

    saw hyde at the dolphins game yesterday. he wasn't sure how many beers he had (six?), but it was more than the one he mentioned. said he felt like he had to down a few or scott might not've trusted him or something.

    I, too, wondered about the note-taking process (pad?, recorder?), although i didn't get around to asking him about it. the bit about grabbing a cocktail napkin made me think that was the first time he'd written anything down.

    I don't know who does it - poynter? - but i've seen this feature called "how i got the story," in which reporters share the process that led to great stories. i'd love to hear more about the process on this one. maybe that sports media website can interview hyde about the scott piece.
  5. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Well-Known Member

    Great work, Dave.

    That is all.
  6. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Yes, we're storytellers, not stenographers. If it's really just about Jake Scott and nothing else, why not just run it as a Q and A? Why even bother with the set up? When Hyde is walking up to the porch, I already know he's going to get to talk to Scott, because he already quoted him in the second paragraph. As I said, and GuyBehindtheGuy echoed, it was a great story. That doesn't mean it could have been a tiny bit better. I'm not saying that Hyde should have made the story at all about "his journey to find Jake Scott." I don't need to see Hyde on the plane, ordering a scotch, telling us about how he and his father watched Jake Scott on television so many years ago, and how it taught him the meaning of toughness, blah, blah, blah.

    What we're saying is, you can shape the story so that it has a little mystery to it, even if it's for five paragraphs, especially when you don't have a picture of the guy to give it away. If the mystery to Scott is, Where is he? What's he been doing? then I think you can play with that a little. Frankly, I think the headline "We found him!" did a little bit of a disservice to Hyde the storyteller. This was exactly the kind of story that didn't need an explanitory nut graph in the third graph.

    I'm sure someone will chime in calling me an asshole now, asking why can't we just leave a good story alone, ect., and that's fine. But the whole point of the journalism board is to talk about journalism. As I said, it was a great story. But I think the summary graph up high deflated some of the tension later in the piece. And if you're going to ask people to read a 100 inch story, tension and suspense are the best way to pull them along.

    When people post stories like this, the best thing I think that can happen is we can have writers offer constructive analysis on why the story was great, why it worked, and what could have been done a bit differently, or better. David Hyde might not need to learn anything new about the craft of storytelling (he's obviously very good at it), but some young writers out there might benefit from this discussion far more if it wasn't just one post after the next, praising the awesomeness of the story, or discussing the merrits of Terry Hoage.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    If someone calls you an asshole, it won't be me. But it is possible for competent professionals to disagree. I disagree that the element of suspense is in finding Jake Scott, it is in what Jake Scott says after all these years. The story is already freaking huge -- why make it even longer with a contrived attempt to add suspense? It's why TV is so unsatisfying, and why a show like Lost is different -- most shows you know no matter how they try to contrive suspense, you know a key character isn't going to die, but on Lost key characters do die, so you never know. On a newspaper takeout, you have to give the reader some credit for basic intelligence -- when he sees a 100-inch story, he has the expectation that A.) Jake Scott was found, and B.) Jake Scott talked, or the paper wouldn't waste their time with this humongous piece. Now I do remember a couple decades ago a pretty good writer doing a long piece on Al Davis with the lone quote from Davis being "I don't talk to enemy writers," writers who cover a competing team. But these are rare. I think you are asking a lot of the readers to suspend their disbelief that much that there'd be any suspense at all in the actual finding of Jake Scott.

    Why not a Q&A? Well, you'd lose the sense of place and the cast of characters.
  8. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    wow. an awful lot of nitpicking weasels here. :eek: :eek: :eek:


  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Hey shocky, piss off. There are no nitpicking weasels, you clown. There are people who love storytelling, talking about a great piece of journalism. Sorry I got in the way of your backslapping. Your use of emoticons and RANDOM captiol WORDS really put me in my place though. Thanks for that.
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Frank, thanks for your thoughtful answer.
  11. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I don't see any nitpicking...what's wrong with discussing other ways to craft a story?

    Don't we all do that to ourselves? 'Hm, I could do this, or I could do it that way....' The 'could do it that way' is always worth talking about here....
  12. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    At long last, Terry Hoage made SportsJournalists.com. Good work, Boom.
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