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No, the big paper isn't here today...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Granted I've been treated great by the people at our Little League softball state tourney all week, but one thing happened yesterday that always irks me.

    I'm sitting in a rain delay (yes, it's the Pacific NW in July...lol) with another reporter, and a guy walks up to us assuming I must be with the state's "Big Paper". I inform him that I'm not and introduce myself, he drops me like a cold potato, and starts talking to the next guy thinking he must be the "Big-City" guy. He informs him he's not either and introduces himself.

    The guy sits there confused for a second when I jump in to tell him the Big-City paper wasn't here yesterday, is not here today and won't be here tomorrow. The best place to get news on your local teams is with your local papers. The Big-City paper will show up when the national tournament comes to town, and it will fill its pages with news of teams 3,000 miles away like it does every summer.

    The guy actually walked away appreciative, thanking each of us for the work and time we put in. :)
     
  2. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    I suppose it would have been too mean to tell the guy, "Yes sir, I AM with The Oregonian! Look for our stories from every day of this tournament and tell your friends!" :D
    Then you could have followed up with, "Yeah, we sure cover you guys well, unlike (insert name of your actual paper)." Reason being, when the guy doesn't see the stories in the big paper, maybe he'll remember the name of your actual paper and look it up.
     
  3. ObstructedViews

    ObstructedViews New Member

    Meh, I love when you do a good story on a local athlete/team and two weeks later the Big City paper does the same story only to have someone stop you and say, "Hey, did you see that great story in the Big City paper on us?" Yeah, I wrote the same one 2 weeks ago...
     
  4. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    or often...I wrote a better version two weeks ago :)
    Since we have much greater insight into the local teams, than the Big-City reporter who drops by a practice one afternoon.
     
  5. JamesCimburek

    JamesCimburek New Member

    Welcome to life at a smaller paper, ObstructedViews. What's even better is when they crap on your local sources, those sources complain to you about it and the next time big city paper comes around, sources still fawn all over them.
     
  6. ObstructedViews

    ObstructedViews New Member

    @flexmaster33: re: "better one" - That's great, I'll have to remember that.
    @JamesCimburek: So true.
     
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    From the other perspective, I used to work at "Big City Paper" that had more than 100 high schools in its coverage area, and I would get tired of the "Oh, so the Big City Paper finally decided to show up!" from people at the gate and in the press box.

    I also felt uncomfortable standing next to the Local Paper reporter wearing a pair of ratty jeans that had the scores from every HOMETOWN HIGH football game stitched into it.

    I also felt weird working with other LOCAL PAPER reporters who flew the school colors every time they covered the game and asked the coach questions with the word "we" in them.
     
  8. ObstructedViews

    ObstructedViews New Member

    @Ace: As someone who has been both at both a larger paper and smaller paper, I concur. As a small paper guy, coaches have given me shirts, hats, etc. over the years, but I always give them to my kids (we live in another town) because I too feel weird around the "cheerleader" in the press box. That said, the role of a community newspaper is somewhat different from that of a big city newspaper. Part of our niche as a community newspaper is being vested in the community; however, that can be done in a professional manner.
     
  9. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    I've had coaches and boosters try to give me swag, but I usually say something like 'sorry, can't accept that, it's against journalism ethics.' Then they understand I'm not being rude, and that I belong to a profession.
     
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I get that the role of a smaller paper is different. If you cover one high school in your town and wear the chartreuse and orange of the Podunk Possums, fine.

    But I've worked with guys who cover a town with two schools and they are complete homers for one school and treat the other like a stepchild.
     
  11. ObstructedViews

    ObstructedViews New Member

    @Turtle Wexler: Agreed. That's the best way to treat it.
    @Ace: Too true. FYI, I don't think you should ever cover a game wearing a school's attire, etc.
     
  12. In the above posts, substitute "Sports Illustrated" or "ESPN" for every mention of "Big City Paper" and you'll understand how we beat writers feel when the teams/athletes we cover who are too busy for interviews start ass-kissing the national press when they show up.
     
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