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Story concepts that need to die

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheMethod, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    I once worked with a guy who basically quit over having to do a Man On the Street story when the local team went to the big game.
  2. Karl Hungus

    Karl Hungus Member

    Well, laughing at that is another bullet point on my resume for hell.
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Not to pile on Gannett, but remember when Gannett made the fans the story? They demanded fans get quoted? Stupid. I do not interview fans, period.
  4. doggieseatdoggies

    doggieseatdoggies New Member

    That used to be a Gannett staple...what was it, Real Life, Real News. Gannett said these people should be considered "experts."
    Which was another way of telling reporters that you are nothing but trash.
    I needed another reason to hate Gannett.
  5. I think this varies in importance according to region. I've lived in both extremes: In Alaska, articles explaining the current cold snap, warm streak, rainfall, snowfall or drought are pretty useful. In Florida, just tell me when a hurricane's coming or if I'm not allowed to water my lawn on an odd-numbered day.

    All in all, you're hitting a topic that is constantly changing and affecting people's daily lives. The main problem with bad weather stories, IMHO, is that they're slammed out by the cops reporter in whatever time exists between typing up the blotter and 5 p.m.
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I'll admit that 90 percent of "drunk fan reaction at the local sports pub" are shit, but like anything, it's tough to say ALL of them are shit.

    My first year in the biz I had to do one of those pieces on Patriots fans reactions to the AFC Championship against the Steelers. It was shit. The quotes I got were terrible and most of the fans weren't particularly knowledgeable or coherent (the upshot was that I interviewed some rugby players and got a great feature out of them the following week).

    But a couple years ago when the Red Sox opened the season in Japan, two local bars opened up at 6 a.m. and got some really good crowds for the start of the season. I got some great stuff there, from the 80-year-old couples who got up early to enjoy the game, to the college students who had stayed up for it, I got some great quotes (it was really less a reaction piece than it was about the atmosphere and camaraderie among the fans). The unusual circumstances did give it a somewhat unique angle.

    But, yes, by and large, those stories are shit.
  7. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    It was a Gannett imperative for years. There was a fantasy that it sold papers.

    Fans have enough of a bullhorn in this godforsaken sports culture. The slackjawed unemployed uneducated divorced deadbeat yokel doesn't need to get to yell and blither in one more place than he already does.
  8. ringer

    ringer Active Member

    20. Journalist tries a new sport and writes about it.

    Let me guess - it's much harder than you thought. And you looked like a douche trying it. Thanks.

    21. The mom who's a pro athlete story.

    She's fertile and still coordinated. Great! Wow!
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    23. Columns bashing sports such as soccer or auto racing or water polo or whatever just because the columnist doesn't care for the sport. Hey, if that's how you feel keep it to yourself.

    You think your take on how boring you think soccer or auto race is is unique or enlightening? Just makes you look ignorant.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Tim Cowlishaw, apparently, is ignorant.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Eh. At least he got the other side in there.
  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    24. Another Gannett story idea: We need to profile a minority person. Any person will do. Doesn't matter if they are actually newsworthy.
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