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Small dailies what are you doing for Olympic coverage?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Justin Biebler, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. I ask because we are a 20K daily that gets about 3 pages each day (except Saturday and Monday when we get about 5 pages). Just wondered what others are doing. We cover 30 high schools and have a D2 university in town so we're just about swamped in local coverage each day and find it difficult to get much wire copy on those pages period except for Saturday mornings.
    We have shifted a story and photo a day to A-1 but other than occasional story that's it.
    How about you?
  2. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    If it's not practical to cover what happened "yesterday" -- and that might be a valid consideration because of space or reader habits -- at least try to serve your readers by setting up what's going to happen "today."

    At the very least, that should include what's on TV and when. You could go above and beyond with a few words to advance "today's" significant events and storylines. If memory serves, AP used to move a next-day preview roundup ... I suspect it still does.

    As far as what happened "yesterday," if space really is an issue, you can certainly run agate results and let them speak for themselves. Boil it down to the medal rounds if necessary. Frequently and prominently refer readers to your website for wire stories.

    (Yes, I'm assuming your paper subscribes to a wire service that provides Olympic coverage ... which is a perilous assumption, knowing that a lot of smaller dailies have dropped wire subscriptions.)

    If your paper's coverage policy isn't LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL, I think you have to have some kind of Olympic presence or run the risk of looking very provincial.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Roundup on second page, with breakout box highlighting what's on in prime time. Medal table and, if space permits, U.S. hockey box. We're an afternoon paper with production at night, so all the coverage will be at least a day old by the time it hits the readers' doorstep.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Places I worked always seemed to have enough space. We'd run one Olympic story on the sports front and jump inside to two pages of Olympic stuff (could probably gotten by with one if we really had to). Always ran medal event results, medal winners of the day, standings for team sports (hockey), the next day's schedule and TV schedule.
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I don't work at a small daily, but the medal counter is such a worthwhile use of 3 inches.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Honestly, doing the Olympics was one of my most favorite projects ever. I designed the template, how to format everything from the medal table to results agate and then would go through the wires everyday to find interesting stories as well as events roundup. One of the best part was all of the cool non-traditional sport photos. After several months of football and basketball, having figure skating or skiing to run was a very nice change.
  7. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    As we did in 2012, we sold a local bank on a bottom strip ad on an Olympic page, with them as the "presenting sponsor" of the medal count each day. This time around, with our new press, they upgraded to a color ad. So it'll have color each day, which is cool.

    Especially with the somewhat more relaxed Winter schedule, we can pack a lot of content into 18 total pages - more than that, probably, by the time we're done. We actually have a U.S. Olympian with local ties to our part of Mississippi, so there's a slight bump in interest from that..
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    That's great, Henry. We sold a sponsorship deal for a local prep package at one paper a few years back. Glad to see you made it work.
  9. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    If I did what my publisher wanted: Nothing at all. However, I still believe I have readers who want some stuff outside of their beloved high school teams and unattended junior college games. Had a guy call asking for NBA coverage today and there's no doubt I'll get calls from NASCAR fans at some point this month.

    What I'll probably actually do: With a midnight deadline and things happening about 10 time zones away, it seems impractical to put much in. So what I do put in will most likely act as spacekiller on a slow day.
  10. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    We're in the same boat -- too much going on with all things high school, the local D2 school and a couple of SEC schools. Hell, we're still running recruiting analysis stories. Hope to run at least one Oly feature per day and results, medal count and some other stuff as space permits.
  11. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I'll punch out our 18th and final Olympics page for Monday.
    I think that's gone very well. For one thing, it's a newsy color position I can close by 6 p.m. most nights.
    I've used a mix of AP and MCT stuff to good effect.
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