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One-man shop covering your own kid

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by newinthefield, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. newinthefield

    newinthefield Member

    I am years away from possibly encountering this problem, but what should a one-man sports department do if his/her child begins playing sports for a high school in the coverage area?
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Everything he can to get him a scholarship, because the kid's gonna need one.
  3. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    you only cover us when you send us to bed with no dinner
  4. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    you only cover us when you sleep with our mom
  5. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Be fair and objective. Same as you would for anyone else's kid.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Don't do it. Under any circumstances. Because you can't be fair and objective. It is your kid.
  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I have no kids so this is a total non starter for me BUT

    If I did, I don't care if it's a one-man shop or 15, I'm going to my kid's game. Period. End of story. If you want me to work for four years, it'll be covering the game my kid plays in. I'm not missing my child's career for a job. If my work becomes a problem, then you can address it with me. It won't, so these are my terms and they are not up for debate.

    I know a dozen guys who have done it.
  8. newinthefield

    newinthefield Member

    This is how I feel as well. I know it could become a hot issue with some people, but I know myself and I know I would be extra careful when mentioning him/her in any stories or photos. I think I would probably write a column once my first child was old to be in JH sports to explain the situation and be transparent about it.

    I think at a bigger publication, then what the mod said would be spot on.
  9. bpoindexter

    bpoindexter Member

    Have a stringer cover the kid.
  10. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Then you probably don't get to see your kid play.
  11. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Again, no kids, BUT

    I couldn't imagine myself being in a situation where it was "Dad, I scored two touchdowns tonight." "That's great, son, wish I could have seen it. Little Johnny Jenkins scored one in the game I was at, and his folks sure looked proud."
  12. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    In a perfect world, the answer would be simple: Don't cover your kid. In the real world, where you're a one-man shop and probably don't have much of a freelance budget (if any), it's a different matter.

    In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, at the very least, you should put a footer at the bottom of any story you write in which your kid was a participant or a teammate.

    The column's not a bad idea, either, as far as getting the disclosure out there. It could also serve as a valuable tool, explaining that you recognize you're walking a fine line and you'll do your best to be objective. It could also serve a purpose to help explain the role of journalism -- we report, not support -- and allow readers to understand this business a little better.

    Beyond that, I'm not sure there is an easy answer. Cover your kid, and risk the appearance of bias. Don't cover your kid, and that team never gets covered. Tough call.

    The more dogmatic among us would say your only real choice is to take a different job. And they're probably right, if you want to go by the book. On the other hand, in this era of 12% unemployment, the dogmatic aren't entirely practical.

    Good luck.
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