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Latest Recap-ish for The Natchez Democrat

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Patrick Murphy, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Hello everyone. I have been in the field covering high school sports since Aug. 26. Here's my latest sports recap-ish thing for The Natchez Democrat (a weekly newspaper on the west side of Mississippi).

    Link to the article: Prep LHSAA Basketball Roundup: Monterey High Wolves keep winning - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper

    I also wrote a feature-ish article about multi-sport athletes in the Miss Lou. Link: Multi-sport athletes shine in Miss-Lou - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper

    I hope to get some critiques but more importantly to show what I can do for any other company.
    Liut likes this.
  2. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Hi Patrick,

    Great to hear from you again. I’ll read the feature later, but here’s what I have for now.

    Regarding the gamer:

    — Looks like it’s the end of the season. Postseason implications are important. I didn’t see any.

    — I didn’t see W-L records for every team.

    — If someone shoots two free throws, the fact that they made both isn’t significant (especially not second-graf significant), unless that was the determining factor in the game.

    — The info and quote about the man-press offense was the most interesting piece of information you have, and it’s in the middle of a Thursday roundup five days before the game. Make a preview story out of that! That’s good stuff! Use more of that! (Edit: I see you’re at a weekly, so this is the last edition before that game and thus you can’t make a preview out of it later. So my point is: This is the type of info that separates a pro journalist from a fan writeup. Definitely experiment with ways to highlight it more.)

    — A veteran player doesn’t exist in high school. The kid didn’t return from Iraq, and he hasn’t been there for more than a few years. “Veteran” will slip into copy from time to time, but it cannot be the only thing you say about the kid.

    More broadly:

    — I understand it can be tough in an entry level gig far from home in a crumbling industry, and these days it’s a good idea to always have feelers out .. all valid ... but I want to caution you against publicly posting your desire for another job less than a year into your current gig.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    Liut likes this.
  3. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your patience here, Patrick.

    Regarding the feature, I’m not clear why we’re talking about these multisport athletes now. Is multisport participation rising or falling? Are there new rules that changed the landscape? The data at the beginning doesn’t clarify much, either.

    If this is just a way to highlight prominent multisport athletes, just say so and do a bunch of quick hits (my attempt below). That way you can maybe turn set a template that will fill space after spring sports taper off. Just a thought.

    Jimmy Johnson, senior, Markdale High
    Football, track, basketball
    Highlights: Johnson caught 28 passes for 356 yards as a wide receiver for the Cougars football team, who went 7-7 and made the playoffs. He averaged 5.6 points per game as a shooting guard in basketball, and he placed fifth in the 200 meter dash at the Natchez County track meet.
    Quote: “It all just becomes one season. All these sports, it’s just fun for me.”
    Liut likes this.
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