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Sports or news?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by housejd, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. housejd

    housejd Member

    So, the prsesident of the university I attend spoke on campus tonight about gambling in sports and how it affects college athletics. I say this is a story for sports to cover.

    However, I was not notified of it. As sports editor of my college newspaper, I feel a bit slighted when I find out at the afternoon budget meeting this story is happening and a news reporter is handling it because "it's the university president." I let it slide though because a reporter was already out and there was not much to do then. Anyway, I had my own section to worry about at that time.

    I saw the story, and I know sports could have handled it better. I want to approach the news side tomorrow to ask why we weren't notified. How do I approach that without sounding condescending?
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Get used to it.
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you might be best served to give this whole renfro trauma a day to blow over and then approach them on thursday. really dude, use some common sense during these sad times.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    It's totally a news story.

    The mistake news side made was not flagging you on it. Consider it your first lesson in departments not speaking to each other; you'll see it repeated many times during the course of your brief journalism career.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Go to your common supervisor (I assume a managing/executive editor is in charge of the section heads). Make your point that since the topic is rooted in sports, the story should have been written by and run in sports. Make sure to coach your argument in terms about story quality; don't make this about a real estate fight between you and news, even though at some level it is. Point out that there should be clearer lines of communication between section heads, and that if something could use the expertiese of another section, by all means they should know about it too (point out that the news editor probably wouldn't care for a non-sports story being covered in the sports section).

    And yeah, get used to it. My last stop where I was an SE, I saw news writers cover sports stories and run them in news, and my first clue was when I proofed a random inside news page and saw something that needed to be in sports. I had to go to my ME and get the point across that there's a reason it's called the sports section, not the sloppy seconds from news section.
  6. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Really, there's no reason you couldn't both cover it. Not the speech itself, that's water under the bridge, and, who cares anyway, but the issue, which is indeed a big one.
    Figure out some angles about gambling and college sports that are more interesting than a speechifying president, pitch them to whoever you need to pitch them to, assign a good reporter from news and from sports, and go after them. Hopefully you'll wind up with good enterprise, maybe even a series, with the different sources and perspective that come from covering both angles.
    We've got enough problems in this business without fighting turf wars. (don't mean to take it out on you, house, this is just a pet peeve of the situation at my place).
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I wonder if they did this on the Titanic. Did the band argue with those piling people into the lifeboats?
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Nope. They just played until they died. Just like the true heroes of this world. We all know who they are. ...
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Agree with you about the rest, but I think turf wars sometimes are important enough to fight. In this case (based on the admittedly incomplete story we've been presented), we have a news editor who made a unilateral coverage decision without giving a) thought or b) notice to how it impacts the rest of the paper, in this case sports. What if said NE decides to write a story about a basketball player with some interesting off-court hook, arguing that the hook is what made it not a sports story? You don't want to light up the sky over a slight, but if it's the beginning of a trend, best to cut that shit out now.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    It should be in Page 1 or Metro, depending on what else was going on that day. Could it have been written better by a sportswriter, who understands the subject matter? Probably, butr without seeing it, who knows.
    But many news departments feel that only they can write news, forgetting that a sports writer's best asset is versatility.
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    The other thing to consider is where would the readers who would read it expect to find it? (it's not the most clean of sentences, but I'm coming down off of deadline high, so screw it). I turn to sports to read about sports. If a story that might impact/interest me was put on the bottom half of B5, I'm possibly going to miss it. That happened a lot at my last stop.
  12. The best approach to this story is let the news side cover the speech, and you run a related story in sports developed from your contacts -- athletes and the no-cheating talks they get, temptations to bet, etc. Then your whole newspaper benefits and shares in the coverage. Don't let it become a turf war. Look at the bigger picture. The average reader doesn't care what page it's on, only that it's there.
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