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Requests for coverage — deadbeat spouse edition

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Just curious, but I'm deluged (okay, roughly one e-mail or call a week) asking me to do a story on a person's ex-wife or ex-husband and how they are this amazingly bad person.
    To the best of my knowledge, my shop has never done a deadbeat spouse story. And never would*, but they still keep coming and for the life of me, I cannot understand why.
    Do other places get this?

    * A possible exception would be on a major public figure.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Maybe the lack of deadbeat spouse stories is why newspapers are dying.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    You could make it a weekly feature. A head shot, a breakout box, maybe a couple of short, punchy quotes.
  4. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I would never say never. There's probably a deadbeat spouse story out there that's an award winner. Ferreting out the extraordinary deadbeats from the average deadbeats, though, might be a chore.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Punchy! That would make it an abusive spouse feature. Entirely different.
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    We might do a trend story on if more spouses are becoming deadbeats because of the economy or something.
    Here's today's e-mail, very similar to the others I get. It is almost like they are following a form. Be very specific on somethings, then very vague on other details.

  7. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Unfortunately, that story is probably closer to being true than an exaggeration.
  8. spup1122

    spup1122 New Member

    I was thinking the same thing. Editors at my former paper would have at least made me sit down with the guy and the judge involved to pursue the story even if I didn't think it was anything.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Probably true, but the lesson for everyone is not to sleep with psycho. Remember the crazy/hot ratio.
  10. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    In college, we decided to do a piece on the team's middle linebacker, who was also the father of two kids. Features writer did the story about him being a dad, sports writer did a story about his play on the field. E-mail two days after the story is run from the kids' mom, who claims guy is a total deadbeat and never sees his kids. I might have believed her, if it weren't for the fact he lived a floor above me in our apartment building and I could hear his kids crying five days a week.
  11. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    That's brutal. I feel bad for the guy, but I think everyone's sympathy needs to be with the children. No child deserves to be put through this kind of crap. It disgusts me when parents use visitation and other aspect of their children's lives as tokens to satisfy their own beefs.
  12. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    My rule, not always followed by employers where I've been, is not to intercede in personal disputes. Do one of these, and you've got to do 1,000 more. And the guy's got an agenda, whether he's in the right or not, so I guarantee he's telling the story in such a way to make himself look good.
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