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Potential conflict on a fan project?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Golazo21, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Golazo21

    Golazo21 Member

    Hey guys, just posting here to get some wisdom on the following situation:

    I'm a beat writer for the Bodunk 11 and recently, a fan who regularly shoots Bodunk's home games from the stands e-mailed me about a possible yearbook-type collaboration for the players and coaches first then, perhaps, selling copies to the general public with a portion of the proceeds going to Bodunk's charitable foundation. Given that Bodunk doesn't publish a yearbook per see, it seems like a cool idea.

    According to the fan, he's run this idea by some of the players via Twitter and e-mail, and they're supportive of it. Since then, he's asked me of my interest in doing a Q & A for each player to go along with his photos.

    I reviewed this with my sports writing association, and they don't see it as a problem. But here are my concerns:

    1. Is this a situation where I could be perceived as "stepping on someone's toes" within Bodunk's organization since there is no yearbook?

    2. Am I being too paranoid in believing that my participation in this kind of project would compromise my objectivity? I don't plan on writing flowery profiles, but rather, asking each player a few questions in a Q & A format.

    3. What other potential problems/issues might arise if I were to take on this project?

    Thoughts, opinions and insight are welcome. Thanks!
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You're going to get a few moralists admonishing you for even considering this project, but if your bosses are fine with it, you should go for it. You're talking about Q&As. They're puff pieces in most cases even in newspapers. And I'm guessing you're not compensated that well by your day job.
  3. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I agree with Versatile, but you have to tell your bosses about this before you commit to doing it. Your place may have policies about stuff like this that you're not aware of, and you don't want to do it and then find out after the fact that you're in trouble for it.

    At my place we have policy that you have to tell your boss about any and all freelancing that you're doing in advance, and the paper gets to decide if it's OK for you to do it. As long as it doesn't compete directly with our coverage, it's fine.
  4. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Member

    I don't necessarily see a problem with it. My question is: Why do they need a professional writer to put together a simple Q & A?
  5. Golazo21

    Golazo21 Member

    Thanks for the advice, guys. :)

    And MightyMouse - my guess is that reason they're asking me is because I have regular access to the players.
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