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Peace be with you if you cover baseball for the AP

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheHacker, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Anybody catch what the AP is going to have writers do on baseball this season? Alternate versions for the road team's market:


    A good idea, certainly, for several reasons pointed out in the Nieman story, but that feels like a lot of work for the writers. I'm sure people can get it down to a science and make it work smoothly, but just reading about how it's going to work, it seems like a lot to juggle. When you get one of those games where the outcome changes at the end, it creates a real scramble.

    Good of the AP to take on something like this, but editors and copy desk people have been reorganizing AP stories for years. I understand the concern about shrinking resources all too well, but I could easily understand the AP saying, "that's your problem."

    YGBFKM Guest

    The first few grafs will be different. Other than that, I can guarantee you the bulk of the stories will be the same.
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    This is actually really wonderful to hear. We don't have our own team, but there are four-six teams within driving distance that we usually try to run 10-inch stories on every day. It's a pain to edit those stories to be based around "our team" when they lose, and frankly, we've got enough local content to worry about on a given night that messing around with wire copy is a luxury we're rarely afforded.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Good idea by AP. Heck, I've done it. You watch the game. You get quotes from both sides. You just reorganize a few paragraphs. Yeah, I suspect it will take some time. But if I'm a California paper with the Dodgers playing in Philadelphia that night, I can afford it.

    Will be interested to see if they extend this approach to other sports.

    OTOH, it's sort of ironic that AP tries this now as more and more newsholes are shrinking, particularly for baseball, where there's a game almost every single day. When I do run gamers, no more than 10 inches unless it's playoffs, perfect game, etc.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    I got a note about this from our bureau chief yesterday. My biggest concern is time. Usually takes 5-10 minutes after the game ends to get the News Now file, another 10 to get the first writethru (no quotes) and, one hopes, an hour or so for the second writethru (formerly known as the optional). How much longer for the "hometown" version?
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Can't wait to see the Boston guys hustling to get that Orioles angle when Baltimore visits Sept. 19-21.
  7. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    I'll bet my ass, this is going to do nothing but hurt the overall product. Instead of getting one really good optional, the writer (by no fault of his own), is going to say: to hell with it. This one is good enough. I've got another story I've got to start cranking on.

    It's more than just redoing the lede, but in the end, that's what it's going to be, and the latter stages of the story is going to be kept more bland to make the second version work.

    Ivory Tower ideas. They're killing this damn business. Well, that and treating this business like too much of a business. Greedy double-digit, profit margin fools.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Here's the other thing that the guy in Elyria doesn't realize: The writers in other cities aren't going to know enough (or perhaps care enough) about the Indians to deliver the kind of lead he wants.

    So on a three-city trip, he's liable to get leads from three different cities that all say:

    <i>Rookie first baseman Jose Homero has been one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season for the Cleveland Indians.

    Homero went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs Tuesday in Cleveland's 13-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

    "He's been really solid," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's put together a nice year."

    Homero leads the Indians with a .314 average and 67 runs batted in.

    "I'm just trying to help the team," Homero said.</i>
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    20 years overdue. Was asking for this in the mid-1990s.
  10. It seems like it would usually be impossible to get quotes from both managers after a game if you're by yourself. Guess they'll have to hire some help... ::)
  11. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    In my market, AP always has a second person (a stringer) there to run quotes.
  12. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    Same here. I always thought one guy wrote for one team and the other for the other team. The guys would alternate responsibilities (i.e. which team covered), so I figured both could write a game story. Shouldn't be a problem implementing that.
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