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Should I write it or not?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by chazp, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The only way I would consider writing about it if this is an AP all-state team or coaches all-state team that is published first by this big paper. Some states are like that.

    If it's an AP team, might be worth a note looking into how the voting is done and to make sure that your paper has a say next time. In fact, if the team was handled that way, you may be partly to blame.

    If it's a coaches' team, they may have some strange rules that prevent a coach from nominating a player if he is not in the association or something. If that was the case, it would be worth writing about to point out the unfair nature of the selection process.

    If it is just big Metro paper picking a team, then it's not worth worrying about. You should do your own area teams or whathaveyou.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    It sounds like, even without the snub, you have a lot of interesting grist for a piece right there. If you feel compelled to mention the All-State snub, you can bring it up in the context of how little it really matters. I mean, if she's getting college bites already, why does it even matter whether she's All-City, All-County, All-State or All-Gym? There might be some interesting things you and your readers might learn about how college coaches find talent. And the upside is, maybe you can tell whomever complains that your lack of coverage of little Johnny is preventing him from a scholarship that coaches are going to know about little Johnny whether you shoot it from the rooftops or bury it in your desk drawer.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    You could contact some other papers in your state and see if they want to get together to pick all-state teams and do rankings. Then you'd have selections that are more official than Big Paper's.
  4. MGoBlue

    MGoBlue Member

    It's high school sports! Who cares besides mommy, daddy and grandma (grandpa doesn't, because he's watching his favorite college and pro teams).

    God, I don't miss preps.
  5. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Who cares besides mommy, daddy, grandma, and siblings? Lots of people.
    The coach cares because the coach wants the kid to get recognition. Parents of other kids on the team care because if the stud on the team got overlooked for an All-State award by Big City Metro then their kids could get overlooked by Big City Metro for All County or All League awards and thus lose a college scholarship as a result. Other kids on the team care because they want to support their teammate.
    It's a bad sign if you get zero calls/letters about an All-Star team, it means that nobody read it. Someone will always be complaining you left someone off first team or you named someone honorable mention that should have been second team or you cost a kid a scholarship by not naming him/her at all.
  6. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I would say the story isn't worth writing. For one thing, volleyball season has passed so it really isn't current. If the player makes an impression and does well in college, than it might be worthwhile.

    I would not agree with a hard-and-fast rule about never being critical or acknowledgement of another newspaper in print. There is a certain amount of respect and understanding that is should be given to the fact that it is more difficult to pick an all-state team than an all-area team, but to completely ignore the fact that there are other papers simply isn't honest or credible to your readers. That, to my mind, was never realistic and is even less so with sports talk radio and the Internet. The paper you work for isn't the only newspaper in your area, state, region, or nation.

    If you wouldn't acknowledge another paper, than no journalist should ever appear on a panel show with people from other newspapers.
  7. happygirl

    happygirl Member

    We have a writer who constantly bases his stories on published info and reports from other media outlets--and he clearly identifies them. Ticks me off to no end. Makes it look like we're some half-assed shopper that's not capable of creating our own work. Come up with something original, don't legitimize other outlets, don't give them credit, don't acknowledge them. That applies to high schools or pros. If I were in your shoes, I'd write about that player giving it your own slant, with no mention of any other outlet.
  8. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I throw this out there:
    How many families buy multiple newspapers anymore?
    I'm not opposed to writing about a perceived wrong....
    But, The audience for this has to be minuscule. You would be writing for the volleyball team (, their parents) and yourself.
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Fair point.

    I didn't make it clear enough that I meant "you should never acknowledge papers from within your market" ... don't mention your competitors, not every other paper in the world.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Uh-oh. Almost, but...

    If this paper's team is the definitive All-State team, not just one of many but the one most people describe as official, then -- unless it's a future career consideration, and I think that's a fair point -- I say rip away.

    I'm not quite sure I understand this skittishness about intramural skirmishes. There's some kind of sanctity here? Why?

    Now, if it's just one paper out of many, that's different. Other than that, somebody fucked up something important, in Chaz's mind -- why does a newspaper get a free pass?

    That said,
    chaz, I'm in an extreme minority here, so consider that.
  11. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Touche. :D

    It's not necessarily that newspapers get a free pass, S_F. But like Frank said, if you criticize other papers, then you're legitimizing their work in the minds of your readers.

    If they know you're reading the competition, and commenting on it publicly, or using their work in your own paper, they might be more inclined to read the competition, too.


    I don't know -- maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we could treat this like other industries do, where UPS can criticize FedEx all they want in their commercials in an effort to build their own "credibility" among delivery service clients.

    To me, I just think it comes off like a pissing match. A self-serving one, at that.
  12. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I wouldn't set this as a hard and fast rule, even with competing newspapers in the area. There used to be an ethic discouraging advertising where GM would compare itself with Ford and Coke would compare itself with Pepsi. That started breaking down in the 1970s. The fact is, other newspapers exist. I wouldn't make a habit of mentioning the competition every day or in a gratuitious sense, but there with the internet people are aware of even more newspapers.
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