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NBA: How Chicago can Take Advantage of the 2019 Offseason

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by joegrst, May 30, 2019.

  1. joegrst

    joegrst New Member

    Since I am new here, I thought I'd share a piece I wrote a little over a week ago.

    Let me know what you think.
  2. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Hi, Joe. Thanks for posting.

    First and foremost, I encourage you to find a story that hundreds of other writers aren’t chasing. NBA analysis is fine to write occasionally if you eventually dream of doing that (it’s also fun, and writing something fun is good to prevent getting rusty), but it’s likely a long time until that becomes a rent-paying gig, if ever. Also, if you’re looking to sharpen your skills, pro sports analysis is about the worst return for your effort.

    Tell me something I don’t know.

    Introduce me to someone I haven’t met.

    Regarding this analysis, some pointers:

    — Its very conversational, which works great for a single, focused topic. The wide range of things an NBA team can do in an offseason is not such a topic. Maybe dial in on one aspect: Options at point guard, for example.

    — Be precise. If I see “equalize to a 14 percent spread,” you lose me. “Spread” signifies the difference between two numbers, so those two numbers can’t be equal. What I assumed was that there was a 14% difference between the most likely chance and the second most likely chance, and a similar 14% advantage for No. 2 over No. 3. I had to click on the source link to see that the three worst teams each have a 14% chance.

    — Beware of obvious points like the concluding paragraph.

    — Avoid hyperbole or report it out. The fan base is hopeless? There’s an area where you have a lot of experience and access. I want to read that story, with examples, sources and context.

    Again, thanks for posting, and I hope this critique is of use to you. Looking forward to seeing your next piece.
    joegrst likes this.
  3. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    One thing that’s not your fault. The reference to White breaking Jordan’s freshman scoring record stems from the CBS story to which you linked. That story is woefully misleading because it suggests that Jordan held the record. He wasn’t even close. Tyler Hansbrough scored 28% more points than Jordan.
    joegrst likes this.
  4. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    This is a good point. It also is a good example why reporters should independently verify facts they find in other publications when possible.
    joegrst likes this.
  5. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

  6. joegrst

    joegrst New Member

    Thanks for the thought out response and critique. I'll try to avoid hyperbole, finding something a little more original, and precision. Journalism wasn't my field of study in college, so it shows somewhat, but I'll keep working on it.
  7. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    A j-school degree is not a requirement for this job (I should know, I have two, and folks with no college education can run circles around me). Some folks need it. I did. Others don’t.

    Good luck, and I’m looking forward to the next story, when you’re ready.
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