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Passed-on complaints

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Smallpotatoes, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    This evening, I was talking to a basketball coach and after taking the update on the game played tonight, he told me some parents and players were upset about the story in the previous week's paper.
    The team had clinched a league title in a game on a Friday, then in its next game, lost a non-league game in the first round of an invitational tournament. As I usually do when summarizing multiple games, I started with the most recent one and worked backward. It's always seemed to make more sense to give people the fresher news first.
    Given the significance of the older game, maybe I made a mistake in judgement, maybe I did not. (Before anyone goes into the "Why are you talking about games that have already been played instead of looking ahead" issue, please bear in mind that as I have said in the past, the readers seem to demand game coverage more than features or previews).
    The coach said that the parents were upset enough that they did not want to read the paper anymore.
    They were not upset enough to contact me about this, however. As of the time I left the office this evening, I have yet to receive one phone call or e-mail from anyone about this.
    It's not as if I'm that hard to reach. My phone number and e-mail address are in the paper in at least two or three places each week. If anyone really wants to contact me, it's not that hard to do.
    I suppose there's a certain level of comfort in complaining to somebody who can't do anything about what upsets you (I remember one parent a decade ago who always went on and on to me about how upset she was with how a competitor covered the local high school wrestling team, as if there was something I could do about it).
    If somebody can't be bothered actually voicing their complaint to me, how seriously should I take it?
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I agree. Using passed on instead of died sucks.

    Oh wait.
  3. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Could this be moved to the journalism topics section?
    My mistake.
  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I think you should have summarized the two games in your lede, if you didn't. "After a thrilling victory Friday, Podunk High lost Saturday."

    That said, I find that "they" in complaints usually means "I." It's easier for the coach to hide behind "they" instead of saying to your face "I didn't like this." Just as "the whole team is upset" usually means one or two people.

    Don't sweat it. If you think you could have done something different/better, do so next time.
  5. Exactly.
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