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Special Olympics

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jakewriter82, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    now I'm sure I'm going to get dragged through the coals for this one, but I have a sincere question.

    How does your paper deal with the Special Olympics?

    Is it a sport? Should I take pictures?

    This woman came in today and said they were having a special Olympics bowling event tomorrow morning and was wondering if I could come and cover it.

    Being that there isn't a whole lot going on the next few days, I agreed to go.
    I'm bringing my camera, but I'm feeling a little weird about shooting down-syndrome kids bowling and putting it on the sports page.

    Is it a good idea to cover this?
    Obviously covering it like a normal bowling event isn't very realistic, so I'm thinking of writing a feature on it....But I dunno. I'd rather just go volunteer than write a story on them.
  2. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    We don't deal with SO.

    It's a great and worthy institution, but I don't see how you can do gamers on it. Everybody gets a medal. At a lot of their events, they don't even keep score.

    If you do anything, shoot some photos and do some interviews for a Sunday feature.
  3. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Agreed. Special Olympics is really just feature material.

    Don't write for the melodrama, though.
  4. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    I'd write a feature on it, but I don't have much of an angle yet.
    I don't want to go at it saying,
    "Little Johnny was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome recently, but he can still participate in sports thanks to the special olympics where everyone wins."

    What other kind of feature angle could there be?
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I had a Special Olympics basketball qualifying tourney in my town. We just did a feature on the local "team" and "athletes."

    It worked out because the locals here were actually invited to a big, major metropolis to teach people there how to get programs like this off the ground. The locals are really good and respected.

    YOU MUST FIND AN ANGLE. That's the bottom line.
  6. chester

    chester Member

    There's actually plenty of personal angles you can take. Don't look at it so much from the sports perspective as much as from the personal perspective.
  7. There's several feature angles:

    What's it like for the parents who pretty much only get to watch their kids compete at special olympics events?
    What's it like for the owners of the bowling alley who lose the revenue but do a great deed?
    What's it like for the volunteers who spend their time and effort to help kids achieve a sense of worth that is scarcely attained by able-bodied people.

    Without getting too "Hallmark Movie of the Week" on us, I'm sure you could spin something out of this. Think of it this way: It's a slow week, you need shit to fill, and people will read it.

    However you choose to go - good luck...
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    As a little feature one-off, photo or feature, no big deal.

    Don't get roped into results, though. It's a participation deal for most.
  9. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    this was the first year in 5 years that i didn't cover the local special olympics track meet and i think i missed out. is it sports? no but that shouldn't stop you from finding a place somewhere in the paper for a once a year thing. i always did a photo essay that worked out well. lots of emotion in those faces.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    community news chief, community news.
  11. JD Canon

    JD Canon Guest

    i'm sure once you go, you'll meet someone who will inspire you to write about them.

    maybe if you just go into it with the mindset that you're only going to run a standalone photo, it will make it easier to just talk to a lot of people without having to worry about getting quotes or finding the angle.

    and the more you get to know the people participating — they're not all kids — the easier it will be to report. look at it as one of those "everyone has a story" things. you don't just have to focus on the athletics.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    which makes it community news.
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