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Scooped! SOB scooped 'cause we sat on the story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Orville, you realize you may as well have given your real name, right?
  2. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I once heard a famous baseball writer say that he never holds onto something that is good. I try to work by that principle, but the higher-ups sure do make it difficult.
  3. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    What do you cover, btw?
  4. I had sources. I also had attributed quotes verifying the story.
    I'm still pissed off. Can't wait to see my boss this morning.
    Anything I posted on this topic is basically the same thing I'll tell my boss when he wants to discuss the situation. One of the good things about my bosses, one of whom hates to be wrong, is that I can share my opinions with them. We've had several big disagreements - some in which I was right, others where I was wrong - and I have learned a lot from them. After all of them, we move on to the next story.
    This will be another learning experience hopefully, not just for me.

    And tomorrow is another day.

    As someone posted earlier: The one thing I have learned in my years in this business is not to sit on stories. NEVER. EVER.
    Because of shit like this. Unfortunately, not everyone at my paper has learned that lesson yet.

    Yeah, I thought about that and I'm not too worried. In my postings here If somebody wanted to find out who I was it wouldn't be hard.
    Whatsmore, I don't think I have posted anything on this site that I be embarrassed to have my bosses or fellow employees read.
    But yeah, it occurred to me posting this would probably be outing myself. That should also help remind me not be a jackass with people on this site.

  5. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    Can't you just coax them with a can of skoal or something. Isn;t that how it's done on your beat?

    I"ve been lucky, I've never had an editor tell me to hold something, or not use anonymous sources whan absolutely necessary. Then again, I haven't broken anyting earth-shattering either, so there you go.
  6. HackyMcHack

    HackyMcHack Member

    About 10 years ago, at my first gig out of college in a basketball-crazy community, we get word of who the next boys basketball coach will be. High school wants to do a presser. Publisher, who also told us to use courtesy titles for females only and wouldn't run birth listings of single parents, among other misguided "Christian" principles, tells us to sit on it. Meanwhile, bigger paper 30 minutes up the road goes ahead and publishes. Publisher tells ME to write a lame front-page column the next day about how the news media needs to play nice with people and not break embargoes.

    Said publisher is now a publisher for JRC. A perfect fit for that joker.
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    What do most of these stories have in common? Meddling publishers.

    Why are publishers allowed to make spot-news editorial decisions, when at least 75 percent of them came up through sales and have no journalism background whatsoever?

    Unless you've worked in a newsroom, GTFO of ours, Mr. or Ms. Publisher, and leave the decisions to those who actually have experience. I'm sure you have a busy day ahead of you of being a corporate sycophant and poring over budget numbers so you get that six-figure bonus at the end of the fiscal year. Asshats.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Their money, their right. Most likely pound foolish, but just sayin'
  9. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    We had a situation something like this a few years back, though it didn't seem to be the breaking news you're talking about. We had a goaltender on one of the local hockey teams who lived his whole life with a major speech impediment.

    We did our interviews with him writing notes on paper. Had a long discussion about whether to tell people about it, and ultimately decided it had nothing to do with the way he stopped the puck... and maybe we'd feature it down the road.

    Somehow, the big daily down the road latched onto the story and had a feature on A1 within a week. It made me pretty frustrated with the way we played it, though in hindsight I still don't think it was as big a deal as they played it up to be.
  10. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    The problem with trying to break news while competing with TV, talk radio and the internet is that they play by different rules than we do ... as in, they play by no rules. In the meantime, we have one hand and four fingers on the other hand tied behind our backs because newspapers are the only entity left among the news media who cares about being wrong. Everyone else goes off half-cocked and lets it fly with anonymous sources, or no sources and if they're wrong, guess what? They don't give a crap.

    But our editors want us to beat them, playing by 19th century rules.
  11. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    "Listen, when you get home tonight you're going to be confronted by the instinct to drink alone. Trust that instinct. Manage the pain. Don't try to be a hero."

    -- Toby Ziegler, "The West Wing."
  12. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    I would have succeeded, if it weren't for these meddling publishers!

    ;D :D ;D :D

    Seriously, absolutely correct. It's really cute to see business people act like they know something about journalism.

    EDIT: boots . . . . . continued arrogance on the part of newspapers re: "TV, radio and online play by different rules! We GET IT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" is simply not based in fact. Radio runs early, online has some outlets which rush. But there are excellent journalists in TV, radio and online, and stereotyping them all would be like saying that "All newspaper people are simply living in the past and re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic!"
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