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Sports column on the Ops page?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by housejd, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. housejd

    housejd Member

    I'll be sports editor at a college newspaper this fall, and I've heard rumblings of a sports column appearing on the Ops page weekly. Suffice it to say, I don't agree with that for a variety of reasons. I was curious as to what everyone here thought?

    I think we have a sports section for a reason, and all sports-related material (unless it transcends to the point it should go in the news section) should be in sports. I feel readers don't look to the Ops page for sports opinions. It just doesn't make any sense to me from a journalistic standpoint. I would never run a column criticizing higher tuition prices in the sports section. With that said, I don't see why we'd run a column on the Ops page criticizing the starting QB of Random State University.

    Worse off, from what I hear, it's a general sports columnist, meaning he/she could write about whatever, whether it be college sports or professional sports. Only thing we need is someone with noinsider knowledge of the NFL rattling off opinions about the Browns.

    This just seems like a strange move to me, and I plan to argue against if anything comes to fruition. Am I being unreasonable?
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Doesn't sound like it here. I was the sports editor and the editor-in-chief, and at both posts, I was to write columns. I wrote sports-related columns and put them in the sports section, and I wrote columns on global- and campus-wide issues and put them on the op-ed page. I never thought to mix them up because I never found the logic.

    Stand up for your section.
  3. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    Make a stink. Get those sports columns back in your section.

    I assume that whoever made the decision is making the argument that since it's opinion, it belongs on the opinion page. I think that's faulty logic.

    You'd never see a movie review or a food critic column, both things filled with opinion, on the op-ed page.
  4. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    I could see running a sports column on the op-ed if it was a huge issue with a local peg...for example, a paper near Raleigh-Durham opining on the Duke lacrosse case or one of the Bay Area papers writing about Bonds and steroids. But that's it -- no op-eds on how Coach Bikeshorts needs to open up the offense.
  5. housejd

    housejd Member

    Thanks for the feedback. We have had those stories where the news value of the story forces an opinion piece to the Op Ed page. But from what I understand, this column will be a "general sports column," meaning the columnist has full reign of the subject matter. Most likely, we'll see national issues covered in the piece, which really bothers me because said columnist will have done no reporting on the topics covered. What extra insight can be offered that way? None. And most of all, our audience isn't looking to our paper for a national voice. They'll go to ESPN or SI or the NY Times for that.

    I'm interested to see why -- journalistically -- this decision was made. I've also been a news editor at the college newspaper, and I'm in the middle of a news internship at a daily paper now. I still don't understand this move.

    Just curious, do any newspapers actually have a sports column on an Op Ed page? I've never seen one that did ...
  6. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    None that I've seen, but I'm still a newb in the biz.
  7. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    the only sports columns I've ever seen on an op-ed page are ones that deal with big news-ish type issues - vick and dogfighting, bonds and steroids, duke lacrosse etc...

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to put your more typical "johnny quarterback blows and should be replaced by sammy second-stringer" column on the op-ed page..
  8. JD Canon

    JD Canon Guest

    sounds like the only reason this sports column is going on the opinion page is because it's going to be some dumbass ranting about the NFL and national stuff, which everybody already knows you wouldn't let fly on your sports page.

    probably somone trying to pass off some crap and going behind your back to do it.

    it's like if a reporter pitched a story to the news editor, who shot it down, and then tried to go sell the same story to the features section, knowing the news editor had no say.

    you could try and block it and include yourself in the management of the entire paper. or you can let it go and concern yourself only with your own section. i'd say it depends on the makeup of your staff.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If they do it, get your sports staff together and plot out a strategy of every time a dumbass couch column on a sports topic appears on the op-ed page, the next issue, you have a sports staffer, who actually knows something about the subject, come up with another column on the same topic, absolutely eviscerating, point by point, the "ignorant rambling of uninformed idiots on subjects on which they have no knowledge or expertise."

    Use that phrase early and often -- at least a half-dozen or so times in every column.
  10. JD Canon

    JD Canon Guest

    yeah. haha. or you could do something really mean and childish.
  11. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    you could also offer to deliver them around campus, and then rip out that page.
  12. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Fuck them. If they wanted to write sports, they should work for the sports section.
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