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Kindred stress the needs for gamers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Nice read, Dave.

    Absolutely. I've always preached this, especially if you're a true beat guy. Tough to do if you're filling in for someone and don't have the intricate knowledge of the beat. The question "What happened?" has already been answered. What readers want is "why does this matter?"

    Great in theory. Impossible with some of the deadlines we face these days. I had a 7 p.m. college football game last Saturday and managed to talk to seven people before being rushed upstairs to file two different gamers (one for a sister paper), notes and a graphic package.

    I agree with this, too. These types of questions may even make you seem a little more human to the people you're dealing with. I think athletes can tell when you're just trolling for a sound bite. With the minor league team I cover, I asked one player about his choice of walk-up music after a game, and he gave me the story about how he and teammate were looking for different stuff before the playoffs that would kind of hint toward the importance of postseason games. I ended up saving that and using it in the championship clinching gamer, because the title of the song really worked with the ascension of this particular player's career. More color, more detail, never, ever hurts.

    Abso-freaking-lutely. You are, for all intents and purposes, an expert on the subject/beat you cover. Act like one. Gamers should read like news analysis, not like straight news. Don't be afraid to use some of your expertise, and don't be afraid to pull aside a coach if there's something you don't understand. No harm in asking the offensive line coach what kind of blocking scheme his team was in when it struggled to run the ball, or what the defense was doing in those situations. I've gotten the sense that these coaches appreciate you trying to learn so you can do your job better.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Haven't read it yet, though I'm sure it is excellent if Dave wrote it.

    My philosophy in a nutshell: There's a need for great stories from games. There is not a need for the old, traditional game story. It's very rare someone reads about a game they haven't seen, listened to or been updated on via the Internet. Enhance the experience, some way some how.

    Georgia took the opening kickoff is dead.
  3. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    He wrote that he tried to talk to 10 people for every gamer. How is that possible?
  4. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Well put everyone. A well-written analytical gamer is always worth the space.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    If your deadline doesn't suck, you can do that 10 people thing. If your deadline sucks, you have to take what you can get.
    Virginia Tech, the team I cover and have covered the most over the years, has become much, much more restrictive during the week. Postgame is still pretty darn good. Head coach, both coordinators, any other assistants you request and usually 7-10 players. You're not going to have in-depth conversations with all of them, of course, but you can get some stuff from a lot of them.

    How much time you have? Budget half for interviews, half for writing. Stay until you can't stay anymore and then go write. The writing time you lose you make for with material - at least in theory.
  6. I agree with a lot of what he says, but that strikes me as impractical for all but a few instances.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    What I miss most about being a sports writer is exactly this:

    I treated every team in every sport I covered with this approach.
  8. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Afternoon football, be it college or pro, is the only sport where this possible, or even necessary. I'm sure i've come pretty close to 10, but I doubt I've ever hit that number. In baseball, it would be worthless in all but the biggest games or situations, like a perfect game, and pretty tough to achieve, considering the way post-games are handled, with all the waiting.

    giving it some more thought, every NFL writer, when it's a day game, probably gets really close to 10.
  9. bmm

    bmm Member

    It also never hurts to turn the gamer into a mini feature on one of the impact players. Also keep in mind of the impact of the game and what it means - that is left out of a lot of gamers I read.

    Unfortunately, with the cut in staffs, I see more generic capsules of games.
  10. College football you usually get at least that many. NFL, too.
  11. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    That was a fantastic read. I agree with everything he said, especially...

    Gamers, in my opinion, should be more like features.
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