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Sports coverage, bad deadlines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sartrean, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Yall gave me some great ideas. I like the follow the basketball team around, do a diary on them, but I've got 15 schools in the coverage area, so that's 30 total basketball teams. Some teams, all teams would be pissed that were not in the diary.

    Features? Look, I didn't study journalism in college. I studied other things, actually humanities. I've always been a writer, ever since I was like seven years old and I documented my first experience with death -- my great grandmother's funeral.

    I can write a helluva research paper. Features is soft for me, but I've done well in writing sports features, like the kid that gets an academic scholarship to Ivy League U and he's passed for 1,500 yards last season. Don't hear that too often. But I struggle working on features far in advance. The story has always been, this kid is doing well just prior to the big game on Friday or the big game on Tuesday. Now that kid may be hurt or may have dropped out of school between me writing copy and pub date.

    But the mailbag idea is great. Really, the whole deal, we're trying to put the other little bitty twice weekly out of business. Once it's out of business, corporate will transfer us or give us our walking papers. My editor and I figure we got two maybe three years. Maybe we could slip this mailbag idea by and the higherups won't notice it until it's run for three weeks.

    Somebody said people like features. My experience in the deep, deep South, where we just got newspapers 25 years ago, and now they're near defunct, is only the parents and maybe a coach here or there wants to see a feature. Most questions I've always fielded in this deep South state is why aren't there more gamers. Gamer, gamers, gamers, we're gah-gah for gamers. Really, southerners relive the game.

    And I don't do design. Corporate does design, that's why the deadlines are so far in advance. Four people do design for eight metro non dailies.

    Supposedly, 12 years ago, this internet things was going to improve this business. It was going to make newspaper work easier. Well, my experience is it has ruined newspaper deadline systems. Everything now has to be done way, way in advance of press time.

    But really, why even have press times with this deadline structure? It should all be on the web site, save the pages for schedules, notebook, photos and mail bag. I'll pitch this next week. Thanks yall, more ideas welcomed.
  2. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    1. Think of a feature as a research paper without footnotes.
    2. Write a column, or at least a long note, explaining when your deadline for each issue is, and note that what readers bought the paper for before will no longer be available. Don't knock it, be matter of fact. If higher-ups veto the idea, at least you've got a script to read to callers with the question, "Where's my gamer?"
  3. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    This job has been great, but I think I'm going to put in for a transfer. I knew when the gigantic media company bought us out, the whole game would go up in flames. I mean, people in my area are going to be pissed when basketball, soccer, softball and baseball don't get covered in the manner football does (due to multiple games played each week vs. one game per week for football).

    There's some dads that'll friggin riot. Well, maybe not, nobody reads newspapers anymore. They just look at the pitcures.
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