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Las Vegas Review-Journal/Dan Wheldon

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member


    Above is the Las Vegas Review-Journal sports page in a screen capture taken at 11:58 p.m. PDT Sunday. I drew the orange circles to emphasize.

    Now, the newspaper's homepage has Dan Wheldon's death as its centerpiece story. But I was very surprised to go to its sports page, where I was hoping to find an additional story or two, and see the preview story still as the dominant image and the Wheldon story buried midway through the right rail.

    I know a lot of newspapers are bad about updating their websites, particularly on weekends, and I don't want to make anyone look bad. I want to bring up this question: Is this kind of treatment insensitive? Is it more than just lazy or an example of understaffing? To me, even if nothing major had happened and Dario Franchitti had won a boring IndyCar race, the website should have been updated. But in this case, I'd think it would be imperative to make sure that, on a relatively high-traffic day (you'd hope), your sports page doesn't look like this.

    Again, I don't mean to call anyone out. I'm just curious how common this type of lapse is? My sports editors in recent years have been adamant that this type of thing not go on.

    For those who can't read the screen cap, the headline to the centerpiece story: "Schmidt keeps running race set before him," and the deck is "Racing team owner Sam Schmidt will leave Las Vegas Motor Speedway a winner regardless of how any of his teams does today in the inaugural IndyCar World Championships."

    Edit: I also want to add that the LVRJ circulation is 170K-plus, according to Wikipedia. This isn't some small newspaper.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Well-Known Member

    I think that if you have even one person who can update the web page, you do the home page first and the sports page second, and you do that ASAP after the crash (ASAP meaning 15 minutes or less). Not to mention that that is the kind of story on which, if it happens in your hometown, you call in extra help if nec.
  3. That's why reporters should be able to able to "feature" a story with one click as they're posting content.

    Although our web people always tell us that most readers come directly to a story (through google, etc.) rather than navigating from the home page to sports to team page, etc.
  4. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    An example of how "doing more with less" can bite you in the ass. Although it IS on their home page, I grant you that. There should be at least something on sports as well, even if it's a click-through to the same story or to a sidebar. This was the biggest news story of the day in Vegas on Sunday, after all.
  5. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Member

    Also, if they're anything like us, their Web people don't work Sunday nights. If they're anything like most papers, their reporters and deskers ARE the Web people.
  6. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I'm sorry about the state of the business, and I'm sorry about Sunday staffing, and I'm sorry about all the other problems newspapers are having.

    Somebody needed to make a phone call, and somebody needed to deal with this, manager, overtime, whatever.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The story is there on the website -- see. There's a link right there. Why is everyone bitching?
  9. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Who cares what's on inside pages?
    When major news breaks, every piece of info you have needs to be on the homepage, attached to the package. Mainbar, links to other stories, links to photos, everything.
    I can't think of a single instance when I've gone to another newspaper's site after a major, major news story and checked out what their Local (Indy stage collapse), Business (Jobs dies) or Sports homepage looked like. Who cares? If the site is worth a damn, everything you need will be on the main homepage.
    If that stuff isn't there, then that's a much bigger problem.
  10. Raiders

    Raiders Guest

    No, not this. You can't have a reporter posting directly to the site without going through the editing process. And you can't update all the pages in a matter of seconds. Most users are smart enough to realize that it can take a few minutes to get everything rolling -- and that's after the stories and photos roll in. You think all that is done with the touch of one button?

    If the preview story is still up, say, 10 minutes after the live story posts, then it becomes a problem.
  11. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    The whole point of breaking and/or significant news is that you adjust to handle it. Who cares who's supposed to be off or what is normally done?
  12. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Um, do you know online editors who pay attention on the weekends past football games? Good luck with that.

    Yes, a check of a box lets something go straight to the front, but not the editing process. Still, that's why you know your paper's style and reread copy over and over before you put it up live. Most reporters I've known do a better job being on top of Web content than online editors.
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