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Suggestion from a publisher

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    I e-mailed our publisher that a graduate of the high school we cover was chosen in the baseball draft. I had mentioned to him earlier about the possibility of the player being drafted, which is a big deal, because a player from the school gets drafted once about ever five years.

    The publisher e-mailed me back and wrote that if I liked, I could mention that his mother and sister both teach at one of the elementary schools in our city.

    I'm not going to write that, because I think that is ridiculous. The paper, a weekly, likes to try to make "rock stars" out of teachers and school administrators, but I think the fact that the player is the son and brother of teachers has nothing to do with his being draft. I also fear this sets a bad precedent, because the next time a player is drafted, or signs with a Division I college or university, their parents will complain that their names weren't mentioned.

    Part of me doesn't want to do this because of my hatred for the publisher. His product is terrible, knows little about journalism, but thinks he knows a lot, gets richer and richer as he dramatically reduces the staff size and is so out of touch with the public because he hangs out with billionaires and near-billionaires and not the public.

    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. Tell your publisher to fuck off.
  3. Go ahead and ignore a relatively harmless suggestion from your publisher. Then you can come back after you get your review and start a thread about how you didn't get the raise or promotion you were looking for.
  4. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    good grief, why the workup .... it's a simple request to drop a few names into your story that might help a reader better associate who you're writing about ("Oh, that's Mrs. Smith's son/Sarah Smith's brother who got drafted, how cool." ... We're supposed to put things in context for the reader, and this in my opinion, helps with that some...

    relax already, and if you only have players drafted once every five years in your area, then you've got until 2012 to worry about this coming up again... plus, the publisher said "if you like" you can do include these extra names ...
  5. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    You may have a reason to talk about his parents anyway. His mom's a school teacher. High draft pick, he can help make their life easier with a signing bonus. Low pick, then he has to make the majors and stick in order to make his parents' life more comfortable.

    (Assuming dad isn't an investment banker or something that brings down the big bucks.)

    While I agree your negative knee-jerk reaction is probably the right one, you shouldn't discount it automatically just b/c you don't like your publisher.
  6. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    It's not that big of a deal, add something in there about the parents. You don't want to piss off the publisher. Pissing off the publisher is NEVER a good idea.
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Why are you emailing the publisher about it? Why not tell your sports editor? And if you are the sports editor, why not the managing editor? And while the fact that his mother and sister are both schoolteachers isn't totally relevent to the story, it's not entirely irrelevent either.
  8. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    That's kind of what I was thinking. Just write the story. If the publisher asks later why you didn't mention his parents, tell hm it wasn't relevant.

    Why even give him a chance to have an influence on the story knowing how he is.

    For the record, unless it's a real small town and you want to mention the parents, why is it relevant who they are? If he's a bonus baby ask him what he's going to do with the money. If he mentions his folks, put it in. Or you can interview them I suupose.

    Otherwise, they aren't really needed.
  9. printdust

    printdust New Member

    Exactly. By now th epublisher is probably all consumed with the next dipshit idea on his desk.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Yeah, you shouldn't have skipped steps in the ladder.
    And if you mention the parents by name, the pubs next question will be "why couldn't you have mentioned they are teachers..." and if you mention Mom and sister, you have to mention dad, brother Jimmy.... all or nothing, slick, since you painted yourself in the corner.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that always works. :eek: :eek:
  12. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Just use the names. If that makes you lose any sleep, rationalize that SportsJournalists.com made you do it.

    Stick to character, please. That would have been your suggestion 97 out of 100 times. :p
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