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one-day package or series?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2underpar, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    Which works better: an enterprise package of three or four stories in a sunday or wednesday section, or breaking it up into a three- or four-part series with a centerpiece presence each day?
    does it matter?
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    It depends on the story/package idea. If it's a main story and three sidebars, package. If it's a chronological thing, or different time periods, or whatever, then series.

    The subject really does matter here.
  3. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    In general I wouldn't waste anything of substance in a Wednesday section. Save it for Sunday.
    If you have four compelling stories that can stand on their own, I would start it as a Sunday centerpiece and continue throughout the week.
    If the other stories are more like siders, you could run it all on Sunday.
    Hard to say without knowing exactly what it is.
  4. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    All the stories will be able to stand on their own as centerpieces.
    My problem with a series is that it can be interrupted by breaking news, like a nick saban presser or peyton manning visiting the guadalajara indoor arena league team.
    I'm partial to a good sunday package but the presentation can sometimes be a little clumsy.
    News side will probably grab this up and our new consolidated desk will undoubtedly screw it up.
  5. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    I'd say series. Done well, it can be a promotional point for the paper (pick up tomorrow's Tinytown Times-Tribune for the next part of the series!) and I suspect readers are more willing to devote 40 inches of reading on a topic per day than 160 in one fell swoop. That said, be sure to get a sense from the SE/ME/water-drinking bird in charge as to what it would take to knock it out of the centerpiece slot (would they send it inside for Peyton Manning signing/Kentucky losing in the regional semis, or would it take Nick Saban on a murder spree?)
  6. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Strip the breaking news and you're fine.
    Can't let the possibility of something unexpected happening dictate your decision. Just tell the troops if this does happen, here's the adjustment.
    Sounds like this is something you've invested a lot of resources in. Play it like your proud.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    either way could work...if it's a slow time of year, I'll lean toward the series...eating up your anchor spot on your page for a good while. If it's a tight time of year...make it a one-issue package.
  8. TGO157

    TGO157 Member

  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, in some markets - including ours - the Wednesday newspaper has the greatest reach in the week. It's got the food section in it, you see, and the accompanying grocery ads and whatnot.

    As a result, I plan quite a bit around stories we're going to package for Wednesdays.
  10. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I prefer the series as well, for reasons stated here. You can build it up and sustain it over a significant amount of time. If we can get people actually looking forward to reading the paper, I'm all for it. Series' is an opportunity to gain new readers who otherwise might not read the paper on a daily basis, so take advantage of that.

    However, if you do in fact do a series, find some way to complement it online. Whether photo galleries, a podcast breaking down each respective story of the series, whatever. Leave no stone unturned.
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    One thing I can't stress enough about a series: Every story must be able to stand on its own. You cannot rightly expect readers to read every story in the series. Come up with thematic and intelligible reasons for breaking the story into pieces.

    You should try to do that either way. And I can't emphasize this enough: Make it easy to find every part of the package or series from every other part of the package or series on your website. Clearly explained links are a must. Label things as "Part 4 of 5" in the headline. It's not a bad idea at all to have an editor's note saying, "This is Part 4 of a five-part series on _____________. Previously: Part 1 (with links), Part 2, Part 3. Coming tomorrow: Part 5.
  12. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean that to only complement print in instances where series are involved. But I've seen cases where the people who do a fine job complementing daily print content with online don't necessarily always do the same when it comes to print packages, or even vice versa. Of course we should complement print with online every day, but especially with unique packages that could potentially draw in readers who don't normally read the section.

    Also agree with the editor's note bit. We always did that when we ran series.
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