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pros and college sports vs. preps sports

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Drip, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    This is an extention of a debate that actually began at the end of a thread about the columnist job in Richmond.
    Thanks to technology and convenience, is it easier covering pro and college sports than it is to cover preps? It would be interesting to read what others think about it.
  2. I've done all three. They're all "easy" if you want to do a half-ass job. And they're all "hard" if you want to do a good job.
  3. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Easier in the sense that stats for example are kept by someone during a game in the pro and college beat. It's easier for a reporter to concentrate on the game and look at other aspects of it without getting bogged down with what happened on the last play.
    Since the arrival of the net, information about pro and college sports is passed along more freely and is readily available. There are many areas where trying to get a roster of a prep team is a chore. etc. etc.
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    No question in that regard waylon. But we're just talking in general here.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Well, pro and college sports have always been "easier" in regard to your first graf. There's more eyes watching it, so you don't have to keep track of all the basic record-keeping like you would covering high schools. Technology has made it easier, so to speak, but I think most good reporters are still keeping track of the game just as much as they always did. You can always pick up more watching the game and being there than you can just from a stat sheet.

    That said, in regard to your second graf, it's absolutely NOT "easier" to cover pro and college sports, simply because there are so many ways to get information; the competition is that much tougher.

    So, yes and no.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    If you're covering a beat, stats are the least important thing to worry about.
  7. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Keeping stats and getting schedules is a bitch in high school.
    Tracking down every rumor and message board post is a grind in colleges.
    Trying to outdo your competition is a beast and borderline exhausting in the pros.

    I don't know this for sure. Just what I've been told.
  8. Seems to me you're caught up in game coverage. Actual games are one of the smallest parts of a pro beat. If you're covering the "team", sure it's easier to have stats provided for you. If you're covering the "beat" stats aren't that much of a convenience because, again, games are just a small part of it. There's a difference between covering the team and covering the beat.

    When I worked at a smaller paper (as a prep writer) and covered a NFL few minicamps, games and training camp, I thought pro beat coverage was so much easier than prep coverage for the very reasons you described. Now I know better. Just like on preps, you've got to develop and cultivate relationships w/sources and it's tougher on a pro beat because A) There's a ton of competition, and B) you're dealing with a lot of paranoid, egotistical jerks. Also, in my opinion, the reporting standards are higher on a pro beat.
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I love competition. I think its good and the lack of it may be why many papers are failing.
    Nevertheless, because there are so many avenues to get information with the pros and colleges, it becomes easier to keep up with sports in those areas.
    Now, if you're talking about breaking stories, then I am in total agreement that it's much harder to do in the pros and colleges than it is in preps. However, I think you'd also agree that there is more exclusivity available covering the preps because of that lack of competition.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    You have to cultivate sources no matter what your beat is. That's pretty much a given. But you brought up something different and that can be very subjective.
    What are reporting standards covering pro and college sports?
  11. Get something wrong on the prep beat and little Johnny's mom shoots off an angry email or calls. Screw up something on a pro beat and see how ugly it gets w/calls, emails and everyone putting you on blast - your competition, tv personalities, radio guys and various national blogs that cater to whatever sport you're covering.

    Getting something wrong on a pro beat is nearly a fireable offense (remember what happened on the Pats beat?). That's why young reporters are usually allowed to make their mistakes on the prep beats first.
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