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Plans for the "Hiatus"?

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

  1. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    No offense, but you were talking about using a week-old college basketball wrap-up just to have something. That's busywork..

    We all have lists of stories that we want to do when we finally have time, and there is no doubt that people want stories that don't deal with the coronavirus. There is still value there.

    Also, the second sports come back, people are going to be begging for news. No reasonable outlet will keep the sports section shelved once we get back to some semblance of normalcy. So it wouldn't be permanent.

    I'm just saying, it's better to volunteer and maybe make an arrangement ahead of time - say you get three days a week to focus on sports features and two days working on news to alleviate the newsroom burden - than be forced into something. If they're already openly talking about it, it's going to happen. Why not on your terms?
  2. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    Your act really wears thin on occasions like this.

    When did sports writers become incapable of doing investigative work and FOIA requests? Real journalists do that kind of work regardless of the beat.

    If you're a real journalist and not a glorified stenographer, you should be willing to pitch in on coverage during a cataclysmic and historic event. Doesn't have to be every day. Work with the news editors to ID gaps in coverage. Pick up some of the grunt work so that other reporters can pursue deeper investigations. Work your contacts at universities and school districts to see if there are stories there, even fluff pieces like the lunch lady now running a grab-and-go soup kitchen.

    Clinging to sports or entertainment right now is absurd. That stuff will be there once we get on the other side of this insanity. In the meantime, give your colleagues a hand - not for management's sake, but your own as a journalist.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I wrote that story on March 12, right before the start of the apocalypse. It was sitting on my desktop for a week -- just in case I needed it -- before I used it when one of my planned local stories fell through and I had spent the morning writing three other stories for Sunday. Basically, the same scenario that's happened on any of a hundred days over the course of many years.

    And FWIW, I probably will volunteer to help with some pages or stories. Again, I don't mind doing that. It's part of the deal with a staff as small as ours. I just don't want to be shifted over there permanently -- even after this settles down -- which is what I'm afraid they have planned.
  4. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    So, a practical question - Do you want to be in sports forever? If so, that's cool! I definitely understand that.

    If not though - if you want to be a managing editor at some point, if you want to transition to another position in your company, heck, even if you want to move to another field - then you should be viewing this as an opportunity. If you can produce some quality A1 content in the time of crisis, that's going to make you much more appealing when you are looking for a new gig, or to move up in your current company. You *want* their mindset to be, "Hey, Batman was really an MVP when we needed him to be!"

    I don't really know the structure of your current company - Journalism in 2020 is obviously pretty dicey, so, building up loyalty or points with your current company might not matter. And obviously I don't know you, so you might already have management and news experience on your CV and in your clips. But this would strike me as an opportunity for you to broaden out your portfolio of clips, to show some expertise in a field besides sports.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    This post and your follow-up are the sorriest load of toy department bullshit I've read in a long, long time.
    HanSenSE likes this.
  6. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    We're talking about selling newspapers and web subscriptions. This is still a business. Why can't the sports writers continue on, business as usual and if they come across something interesting/important or featury as they do the job they were hired for, they either pass on that idea or write it themselves? It's wrong and very suit-like to make somebody who was hired for one job work another.
  7. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Somebody outline the "new normal" for a sportswriter moved to news and I'll listen. Let's say a person covered the Indiana Pacers for 25 years and is an NBA expert. Let's say he's been ordered to be a news writer now. On Monday and Tuesday, what are his specific duties for news working at home per orders from the state? And there are still experienced newswriters out there covering news too?
  8. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    It will not matter, folks. Newspaper higher-ups have laid off so many people ruthlessly in what everybody agrees had been a pretty decent economy the last 2 years. Now that this has hit? Cmon. Newspapers soon are going to be very poorly staffed because of layoffs. There will be no loyalty shown when the CEOs make their decisions. No matter my tone, my best wishes are to all when the layoffs strike.
  9. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    You get on the phone and you call people and you cover what's going on.

    I work in TV and virtually all of our reporters are working from home right now and have more story possibilities than they can handle. They are reporting from home, getting interviews and doing live reports on Skype. And you don't think it can be done for a newspaper?

    If your guy who has covered the Pacers for 25 years can't handle basic news reporting tasks then he's done an absolutely terrible job covering the Pacers for 25 years.

    There are a million stories out there. People are getting laid off and taking care of kids who are out of school and wondering if their parents are going to get sick and die. Hospitals are bracing for disaster and don't have the supplies they need. Businesses are struggling to survive.

    No one gives a damn about sports right now. If all you think you can do is cover sports then you will not have a job by April. There is no need for you.
    Slacker and sgreenwell like this.
  10. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    And if sports writers aren't willing to move to news temporarily, they're going to get laid off. It's already happening in places around the country.
  11. ADanielPandR

    ADanielPandR Member

    I would hope you are right that sports are not at the forefront of anyone's mind right now. There is a little - but only a little - space for escapist diversions because it's also unhealthy for most of us to be thinking of the heavy stuff all the time. That's why it's reasonable for sports TV networks to dish up some helpings of classic moments, and why their print counterparts could do a little - again, a little - of a rough equivalent.

    Beyond that, though, as long as there are no games, there are myriad beyond-the-game storylines in progress, most if not all of which are connected to this crisis. Those who are ill-prepared for this indefinite change are those who either chose or were made to pursue a steady diet of X's-and-O's commentary. As long as you still have the knack and the passion for wholesome reportage as opposed to just opinionated/analytical game content, you ought to have a chance of pushing through this.
  12. ADanielPandR

    ADanielPandR Member

    That's a fair point, and as I said in response to PC Load Letter, one can conceivably keep tapping into one's existing connections in their reportage. It's just not the usual game-heavy content regimen, minus perhaps some harmless looks back on notable moments just to give oneself and one's audience a breather here and there.

    I empathize with those who are trying to keep their beat's content stream flowing, but given the circumstances, it will mostly just have to revolve around how a given team/league is dealing with the circumstances. You just need to keep an eagle's eye and a creative streak - which the best in the business already have - for stories within that story.
    Fredrick likes this.
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