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Private school kids?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by schiezainc, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Ok, so I just got an email from a parent complaining that we didn't mention the fact that her son was an All-State selection in our paper and didn't cover him this year. She also complained that he wasn't put on our Spring All-Area team for whatever sport he plays (she didn't mention which one it was).

    Only problem? He goes to a private school outside our coverage area and everytime we try to contact said school about getting a list of our local athletes, it falls on deaf ears and they don't even answer us.

    How do I politely tell her that son wasn't chosen because, well frankly because we don't give a crap about private school kids outside of our area when the school doesn't give a crap about us?

    Just for some background info, we did select a ton of athletes from another private school inside our coverage area so it's not like we're ignoring them completely.
  2. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Fuck 'em.

    You've wasted too much time with a school outside your circulation when you typed the scenario on here. If the kid at the private school lives in your area and commutes to said school, make a note of it and move on. Other than that

    Fuck 'em.
  3. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Am I missing something? Outside your coverage area? What's the lady's problem, then? Does the LA Times pick an All-San Diego team? If you don't cover the kid's school, what's her beef?
  4. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    If the school in question is outside your coverage area, why do you make overtures to it as far as coverage is concerned. Do they have kids from the area that commute out there, leading to this situation?
  5. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I think he said his paper picks an all-state team.

    Unless it's THE all-state team, I repeat Fuck 'em.

    And if it's THE all-state team, one paper that only consistently covers a portion of the state's teams should not unilaterally be picking the team.
  6. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Don't worry. I already told them to go eff themselves. Politely.
    See, I told you I have to stop repsonding to work email when Im drunk.
  7. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Love the responses. :)

    As for what our coverage area entails, it's mostly a 20 or 30-mile wide net that extends from the Southern most part of our state to just about the midway point North.

    This school that this kid goes to is about ten miles further out than what we cover and, frankly, the reader's I've talked to would call and bitch if I did cover them.

    This kid goes to the most hated school in our state. No one, and I mean, no one without a student at said school would care if we did cover them.
  8. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Talk about self-absorbed crap. I hate it when a parent panders for attention for one of their kids.
  9. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Dealt with this a lot as an SE.

    I usually told the parent a sanitized version of this ...

    Our audience is the readers of this particular publication, the vast, vast, vast majority of whom follow one of the schools in our coverage area (all of which are public schools). They really don't care about Our Lady of Hail Mary (outside of the coverage area).

    If you want your kid to get coverage in the local paper, send them to a local school. We do not have the time nor the resources, nor the space (nor is there any interest for our readers) to cover schools outside our coverage area because one renegade kid from a family of trophy-shopping parents decided to take the easy way out and go play for Our Lady of Hail Mary because they "have a better chance of getting a scholarship/getting attention in the big-city media/winning a 'state' championship (because they play in a lower class despite having an all-star team of players from six counties)." You can't have your cake and eat it, too ... at least not here.
  10. John Newsom

    John Newsom Member

    You might want to make a list of the public and private schools you do cover. That way, there's no question as to who gets in the paper and who doesn't.

    If a school is outside your coverage area, why do you even bother asking them for scores? The only time I could see contacting them is if there's a holiday tournament or state/regional event on their campus that includes schools you actually do cover.
  11. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    We run into this all the time. There are a lot of families within our coverage area who send their children to private schools varying distances outside the borders of said area.

    I e-mail the out-of-area coaches the same request for preseason information, with an added note to point out who the local kids are -- and nearly all respond. Several of those schools -- including one that is extremely far away and wouldn't even be considered for regular coverage -- report scores, usually more often than the schools within the area do. We run those results as space permits, mainly because the out-of-area schools are in the same conference as the local schools and play them.

    Our blanket policy is that local students at non-local schools can be included in weekly high school notebooks and be the subject of occasional features if warranted. Some of my colleagues even include them in lists of scoring leaders and such, to keep the results coming in (since one of those schools almost always crushes the local opponents). But the students are not considered for our "player of the week" or any all-star teams.

    I've relayed that last graf -- what we'll do for a kid, and what we won't -- in e-mails to many parents with complaints like yours, schiezainc. Just make sure your paper is consistent and evenhanded with all the local kids at non-local schools.
  12. That last paragraph, to me, is the key.

    I have known some newspapers with different coverage areas for different sports: one would only do the county, one only the city, one's beat was the entire state.

    My old paper was able to be consistent with all of our sports, but the sports beat was not consistent with the distribution area of the paper! Yaaargh! Frustrating!
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