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Plans for the "Hiatus"?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DanOregon, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Wow - what a strange and novel idea.;)I just hope some columnist doesn't write the obligatory - "this is bigger than sports" piece at some point. I've never worked with a staffer in sports that couldn't make the adjustment to news. Deadlines, grabbing people for comment, taking what you see and know and condensing it into readible copy quickly. I was truly amazed how often newsers would just take three or four graphs (boilerplate) from a previous story on a subject they were writing about and stick it on the bottom of a story and call it a day after getting two or three quotes and copying from a news release.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Here in Podunk, the news editor has already strongly suggested that I help out with news. Either through picking up an extra story or two, or producing some of the inside pages that he now paginates.
    I showed him a list of about a dozen stories I've got mapped out for the next two weeks, including our winter sports all-county teams. The state high school associations have also set a tentative date of March 30 to resume play if things normalize. That bought me some time, but I'll have to get creative to keep my section fully alive if things get pushed back more than that. There are only so many "How are they filling the down time?" stories you can write.
    As it is, we've cut sports back from its normal three pages to two. I was perfectly fine with that.
    I'm mostly trying to tackle one topic per day now that the cancellations are slowing down. Yesterday was a local college baseball player. Today was youth sports putting its season on hold. I'm hoping tomorrow is the area junior college baseball team. For next week I've got golf, YMCA and some scheduling updates on the horizon.
  4. Kolchak

    Kolchak Active Member

    Some of our staff -- both reporters and desk -- were moved over to news for the time being. And our sports section got cut down significantly for print.
  5. cake in the rain

    cake in the rain Active Member

    I don't mean this in an ugly way, but if you're waking up each day thinking, "I'm a professional and I'm going to work to the best of my ability because it's what I do," good for you.

    But if you're thinking, 'I'm going to work my ass off to show my boss that I deserve to keep my job," just stop. It's already over. We're all done. All of us. You, your boss, sports, news, everyone. And no matter how hard you work, that won't change. The legacy media industry, which has barely survived during a great economic expansion, will die in the midst of the coming global recession or, more likely, depression.

    So take a deep breath and chill. Focus on things you can control; don't worry about the things you can't. And nothing you do, no story you write, no hours you work will stave off the coming demise of our industry.
  6. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Wish there was an "agree" button to push instead of "like," because this depressing post is right on the money.

    At my small daily, entire special sections have been scrapped because of the coronavirus and its shutdown of local businesses. A bunch of St. Patrick's Day-related ads in the paper had a "canceled" striped across them, and all the usual Easter-related ads for brunches, egg hunts and church services won't run.

    Not to mention our advertiser-sponsored NCAA tournament bracket contest.

    The social distancing/isolation brought on by the coronavirus is simply speeding up a lot of disturbing trends that already had momentum. Now they're unstoppable.
  7. Old Time Hockey

    Old Time Hockey Active Member

    So true (and also reflected in the number of sportswriters/sports editors I saw move into higher management positions). I certainly saw a bunch of news people crash and burn when they tried dabbling in sports, though.
  8. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    the well wishers who are saying “You should pay for news! Yes they’re making it free in these tough times but pay, they deserve wages” mean well but they’re bothering me a little.

    Along the lines of cake saying ‘no story you write will save you’ I’d say no number of subscribers will save us.

    When we die it’ll be because the tanking economy eliminates whats left of advertising
  9. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    I was given my notice in October that my job would be eliminated in May. So what's happening now is extra depressing.

    We cut from two-thirds to a half page to zero agate in the span of 48 hours. Sports section went from three to two pages. My only other sports reporter now does news. I've been laying out a world page daily to help.

    Also trying to work from home as our child has been coughing the past 10 days, which is to say not getting much done until my wife gets home from her (far more secure) job.

    Still lots of "athlete tries to get home from country X" and cancellation stories to do.
  10. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Very good post. Hard work at this time is for yourself, not some newspaper. You are doing it out of pride and your brand. You are not doing it for some dumbass editor who does NOT in most instances care if you stay or go if he/she can keep his/her own job. Excellent post. It's all over. All newspapers big and small will use this to hack staff to nothing very soon.
  11. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I think the decision to decimate sports is dumb. Why move sports writers to news? Are there that many news stories that need to be written by sports people? OK, hard news. Daily death reports and infection updates/governor briefings are done by the same reporter every day probably. That person may need some relief and helper. Can't that be a current news person? Features: business owners generally say no comment to reporters. Why not just leave sports reporters in their current roles and see what they can produce? I mean of course somebody might help out when the news writer runs out of his/her 40 hours (only sports people work 60 and get paid for 40) so when that happens, maybe provide a bit of relief. Fredrick says it's stupid to make sports writers move over to news.
  12. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    Then Frederick is wrong.

    Some sports reporters can remain on duty, especially in NFL markets. But both the baseball writer and back-up baseball writer both don't need to be chasing down features or doing busy work. Same with folks who normally cover high school and colleges. If something comes up on their beats, fine, but they can be best used elsewhere.

    You're also underselling the number of stories produced daily about this. Yes, there are the regular updates on cases/deaths, the spread of the virus, etc. But there are also updates from individual hospitals, investigations into unsafe practices (businesses inappropriately staying open and having large gatherings, companies punishing workers for time off, etc), reactions and behavior by local politicians, coverage of grocery store issues, and so much more.
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