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Readers' and Subjects' Expectations

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    So, I went to an assignment today. Interviewed four sources for the story. It went well. Very interesting lede and angle. Good all around story idea.

    I was expecting "the usual" in terms of space - not a lot, but enough to work with.

    However, I get back and I have little, if any, room to write.

    I'm almost embarrassed knowing the people/team/coach I interviewed today will pick up the paper and think "That's it?"

    Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever worry what the readers and the people you interviewed might think?

    I feel like a complete douche right now, knowing I'm short-changing a good story (that must run tonight, by the way).
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    It has always happened in this business, but I'm sure it's happening more these days.

    No good answers for you. If a subject calls and asks you what happened, tell 'em.
  3. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    It's so bad tonight that I want to email the coach and apologize in advance. Not that I would.
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Write a long story and put it on your Web site's blog or something.
  5. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I'm actually thinking of this. We have a "Web Extra" logo we place in stories to promo slideshows, video, blogs, etc.

    I might write a secondary story for my blog.
  6. jps

    jps Active Member

    yeah ... 'for more, see bumblefucktimes.com'
  7. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Did the story need to run today or could it have waited?
  8. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Unfortunately, had to run awriter.
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I've found the same problem at times and the Web situation offers the "long version" opportunity.

    Take advantage of it. Write a good 14- or 18-incher or however long the paper version will be, and then expand on the Web. Gives you a good pop in both places ... er, "platforms."
  10. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    I always wonder how the high school kids feel about being interviewed, then not having a quote in the paper. I've not had one say anything to me, but if one does, I'll explain how I'm looking for the best quote.
  11. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    And yes, it does suck to do three or four good interviews, get good stuff and have something forming in your head before learning of a space crunch.

    I usually tell coaches or players the space thing was out of my control and I appreciate their time.
  12. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    How about if nothing runs at all?

    First playoff game in the short history of the local school's varsity soccer program. Two-hour round trip, 40 degrees -- what the hell, make the drive anyway. Pick up today's paper (two pages lighter than normal, I notice), and ... nada. Better yet, I work with the parents of at least two players, and they know I covered the game. In fact, I stood next to one of them for part of the second half.

    What's the over/under on how long it takes for one of them to say something the next time I see them?
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