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Metros and preps

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheHacker, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Something occurred to me as I read the threads from the last couple of days about papers dropping box scores: How much space are metros spending on prep coverage?

    This morning the metro in my market used almost two full pages on preps in an eight-page section. And we're not even into the basketball playoffs yet. I don't get why they use that much space on it. I'm at a community paper, and admittedly it would be good for us if they did less prep coverage. The extent and depth of their coverage keeps us on our toes, and the hard-core high school sports fans go to them for coverage. Of course, I get that the metro guys know that, and that's part of the reason they cover the high schools the way they do.

    But it's always seemed questionable to me that they commit so much space and effort to it. Interest in high schools across a metro region with 300-pus schools is fragmented so many different ways (by school, by sport). Even if they pissed off some folks, it seems to me they'd appeal to a much broader base of readers by using the space for other things. And speaking of box scores, these guys filled an entire page with high school basketball agate from last night. If space is at a premium, it seems like there are better things to be doing.
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    There's no way a metro with 300 schools should be doing a better job than a small daily with 5-10 schools (or fewer) to cover.

    I respect some guys I know who do preps at metros, but it's always struck me as a thankless job. If I'm going to cover preps, I want to do so at a place where they are considered the big dog in town.
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    If I were at a metro with a bunch of pro teams or major college teams, I'd devote most of my time to that. I might do one page of high school out of eight pages in the section if it's regular season. I'd obviously ramp that up in postseason.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Just because it's a metro doesn't mean it can't do justice to preps.
  5. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Remember, even at a metro paper, prep sports is "local news you can't get anywhere else." As cliched as that sounds, it's true.

    While NBA, NHL, college hoops and spring training needs to be there, too, there's plenty of coverage of that online.

    With preps, the METRO paper can be source for additional online coverage. Just highlight a few of the big games in print, run briefs some of the others, put in a scorelist, and send readers online for more.

    Of course, as someone who works at a smaller daily paper in the boondocks, let's hope those larger Midwestern metro papers keep putting prep coverage on the back burner.
  6. micke77

    micke77 Member

    If a metro can do that kind of prep coverage, all the power to 'em.
    If I am working at that community paper, dang right it would force my ass into giving the preps more coverage.
    I guarantee you--and we all know it--those fans of those prep schools are loving that coverage in the metro paper.
  7. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    If the shit is read, do it right.

    This notion that preps aren't good enough for major metros is ludicrous.
  8. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Around here, the main metro is considered the Bible of high school sports in this part of the state. Its all-star teams are considered the ultimate honor for a high school athlete and its polls mean just as much, if not more, to the athletes and coaches as any championship won on the field.
    I'd imagine that's true with most metros.
  9. Pendleton

    Pendleton Member

    One reason the major metros are in a bind is that there are 1,000 places you can get (free) coverage of your local professional teams, instead of the daily print edition.

    One salvation (maybe) for the medium- and small-sized newspapers is that NOBODY else can cover local high school sports with the depth and quality of the local newspaper.

    Of course, there's a ton more to the equation. But the whole point is newspapers have to hone in on what folks can't get anywhere else.
  10. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Previous metro stop was big into preps, balancing that with local pro and college coverage (all regional; there was very little non-local wire news unless the top columnist went to an event). Current stop has very little in the daily paper but a lot on the Web site, plus a high-profile columnist. The area is too big to give adequate coverage to all schools, so we tend to hit the (usual) big spots and big athletes, along with the occasional human-interest feature.
  11. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I've been the prep editor here for a number of years, and if there is one thing I've learned, it's that high school sports fans don't just want coverage of their team. They not only want to be fully informed on other schools in the area, but they at least want a passing familiarity with teams in scattered parts of the state, especially when you get close to postseason.
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Well, that's the point. You can't make everything your top priority and it seems preps are the thing that gets sent to the back of the section if the place has pro or major college teams.
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