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News stealing sports for 1A

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by YankeessSuck, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. YankeessSuck

    YankeessSuck Member

    Had a nice package ready to go for Monday on local team making NCAA Tournament. But since news had nothing to put on 1A they took my photo and left me scrambling.

    I don't mind news taking stuff from sports when it's somthing big like a team winning a national title. But taking something because there is no local copy makes me a little upset.
  2. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    that stuff needs to be planned out in advance. Everybody knew your team was going to get in or had a chance to get in, correct?
    That's a failure on the ME or EE to not recognize that the story needed a 1A presence ahead of time.
  3. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Tell your bosses to GFT and pick another photo.
  4. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    Sundays are typically slow news days. Everybody is going to be talking about the tournament, so, yeah, putting it on the front is a great idea.

    But sounds like the communication left a lot to be desired in this instance.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Tourney Mondays should be a no-brainer to put it on A1 (well thought out ahead of time). Figure a lot of newspapers may get a bump from people wanting to "prepare" for filling out their brackets and not to mention putting the bracket in the paper should be some primo ad space.
    Even if the local team isn't in it - everyone is from somewhere and probably has a rooting interest. The Hawaii and Alaska papers might have the only legit excuse.
  6. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    As others have said, planning is the key word here. I've been in your shoes, YankeessSuck, and it does, uh, suck, to have to scramble at the last minute because someone else didn't plan ahead.

    If there was even a slight chance of the local team making the NCAA tourney, news using a story/photo on A1 should have been discussed on Friday. And there should have been a backup plan if local team didn't make it.
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    What everyone else said.

    But, seriously, this starts way before Selection Sunday. Are you sending the EE, ME and the designers your weekly story/photo budgets? May not hurt to sit down with the EE for a few minutes one a week to let them know what's coming up (rivalry games, playoffs, Stanley Cup coming to town, ect.), either, especially if a) it involves travel beyond what you normally do; and b) the powers that be are only semi-sports literate.
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    What's not entirely clear to me here is whether Mr. Y. Suck is a manager or just a desker.

    Either way, I have to concur here that the process broke down pretty badly if decisions like that are getting made on Sunday.

    But ... in our department we're always trying to assess, and promote, 1A interest in our best stories. There's usually enough to go around if the top story is a new coaching hire, say, or Selection Sunday.

    One of our contest-winning spot sports stories, a live feature off the first football game for a high school that had been socked by a tornado last April, was planed from the get-go for 1A.

    We have a statewide competitor which, as part of its parent company's philosophy, would like to push a sports story to 1A just about every day. That puts some weird things out front from time to time.
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I love this debate. On one side are those who think 1A should be reserved for the most important stories in the newspaper. On the other side are those who think 1A should be reserved for the best stories in the newspaper. They bump heads most often when discussing the merits of sports on 1A.

    One managing editor I've worked always makes the point that the news front was 1B, the metro section. He was a regular advocate of sports stories and prominent refers displayed on 1A. Sports stories often come with compelling art, drive readership and offered easy planning. Many sports stories, particularly stories such as the one YankeessSuck brings up, are easy to plan around because they're so predictable.

    But the general feeling toward sports stories on 1A among the higher-up editors I've worked with has been clear: It needs to be something more than a sports story. The coach getting hired can go on the sports page, but the coach dealing with his wife's battle with cancer is a 1A story. The 1A story should have something for everyone. If it's just a particularly big live event, make it 1A wild art, perhaps even as a centerpiece, with a refer. That way, for one, you don't have to worry about the jump space in the A section and you can package it better with sidebars, columns and notebooks in the sports section.

    But even on those matters, the debate goes on. What events constitute a 1A centerpiece even as wild art? You'll hear all sorts of answers. There are plenty who would say that every newspaper that covers a team in the NCAA tournament should have at least a photo, as YankeessSuck describes, prominently displayed on 1A to refer to coverage. I agree with that line of thought, but it gets stickier when you start progressing down the line and discussing women's teams and lower-tier bowl games and the rest.

    On the issue of photo selection, my line of thought has always been, who is giving it the better play? If sports wants to run a poster-style treatment where the photo is run very big and the story gets the full sports front, then it's unlikely news will match that treatment. So you give the better photo to sports. But if you're talking about a standard centerpiece photo for either section, news should get the better photo because 1A is more prominent than the sports page.

    Of course, I know plenty of sports designers who get very bitter about ever having to give up a great photo. They'll make the argument that the news designers don't know how to use a great sports photo or that the sports fans won't even look at 1A. I think that's just envy.
  10. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    "Stealing?" Really?

    You all work for the same paper.

    I understand that this went down in a way that ticked you off, but honestly, this should have been discussed late last week.

    It's a no-brainer.

    The lack of local copy was a mistake on the sports editors' part.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I've also been in YS' shoes with poor planning and communication by management.

    The worst was when we had some major stuff planned for our teams in our section, only to have a news desker call at 9 p.m.:

    "Where's our 1A story?"

    "1A story?"

    "Yes, your reporter was supposed to send us a 1A story on the big game today."

    "We don't know anything about this."

    "The editor called at 4 p.m. and said he wanted the reporter to write a 1A story in addition to your stuff."

    "Well, the game was at noon and ended at 2 p.m. and the reporter already wrote all of his stuff. We'll call to see if he forgot."

    Call to reporter:

    "Hey reporter, did you know you were supposed to write a 1A story?"

    "Um, no. I asked them about that on Friday and they said they didn't need one."

    And so on.

    Poor planning indeed.
  12. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    POOR planning, all the way around. Was there a weekend meeting at all, where 1A was discussed prior to Sunday early evening? I mean, c'mon, people ...

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