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Team photos

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Apparently it's some sort of tradition to send a team photo as well as an article when a team wins a championship.
    Last week, one team won a regional tournament and I received an article and a team photo. This week, the same team won another tournament and I got another article and another team photo of the same team.
    Perhaps I should talk this over with my boss since the expectation we have is that we publish all courtesy photos, but it seems like a little much to run a team photo of the same team week after week. It's the same kids, just holding different trophies in a different ballpark. If I published the same photo I did last week, nobody would know the difference except the kids, the coaches and the parents.
    I realize that parents will never get tired of looking at pictures of their kids, but for the sake of avoiding overkill and maybe using the space for other team photos or better yet, something else that may interest more people, does it sound reasonable to institute a policy of not running team photos of the same team two weeks in a row?
     
  2. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    We get the same stuff, we run a team photo ONCE, and only ONCE. They move on, whatever, they got the team picture the first time they submitted it. I have seen my SE get and give many a stare-down as a parent or coach comes stomping in to demand the picture get run again because they went from county to regional to state to whatever.
    We do accept action shots to use with the story, however.
     
  3. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Our policy is no team photos, no submitted photos, nothing unless our photogs took them. Period. You want it in, you buy an ad.

    Ad department did a tab this year with team photos of every youth league baseball or softball team who wanted to submit them. Made us money, kept those people from hounding us. Of course, after it was done, who got the complaints from parents whose teams weren't in there? Not the ad department.

    Actually, few people have complained about our no-team-photo policy.
     
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I have told two people in the past half hour we didn't want their team photo of their all-star team.

    Felt liberating, actually.
     
  5. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    On that note, I just met with a lady whose AAU team is in the regional tournament next weekend. She kept telling me what she wanted in the article, "Please make sure to thank the staff at the rec department," stuff like that. "We want this in, as well."

    I told her we weren't a newsletter but rather a newspaper, and I alone will decide what I write in the article. I assured her that I would try to accomidate her as much as I could, since this is just a fluff piece, but if it's just flat out ass kissing, I wouldn't do it.

    then I got the line, "Well, that's the way it was done before." I'm sure it was, but I'm the new SE in town, and I'm setting some standards in these here parts.

    It's going to take awhile to change the publics perception around here that we're a newsgathering organization. If they want to make certain something gets in, they're going to have to buy an ad. I already sent one cross country coach that route.
     
  6. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    An update on our team photo policy:

    We put in an announcement Tuesday that we were seeking area results from the Iowa Games. In the announcement was this message: WE WILL NOT PUBLISH INDIVIDUAL OR TEAM PHOTOS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Woman calls in today, wanting to run a photo of her son's basketball team: "Can you make an exception for these boys? It would mean so much to them." The negative answer was not to her liking.

    Also, 10-11 Little League team advances to state. We're doing a story wrapping up who is playing where this weekend. Coach says, "Can I submit a photo to go with the story?" Answer: No.

    Come into the office this morning, in the e-mail is a team photo from the guy with this note: "You don't realize what an accomplishment this is for the community."
     
  7. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    We used to run team photos for league champions. Then the whole travel squad phenomenon exploded and we were getting photos of them. Then the leagues started sending in team photos for their preseason tournament champions, league champions and postseason tournament champions.

    It got to the point where we were running one full page of photos per week and still falling behind. Finally, I canned them all. We've not run any since December, but I still get people calling wanting to put their team photos in the paper. It really shows me that nobody paid attention to the team photos when these people don't even notice it's been more than seven months since any ran.

    I'm hoping to start putting them on our Web site since bandwidth is cheaper than newsprint.
     
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    While there's nothing here I really disagree with, these threads do often betray the pleasure some of us take in spiking stuff that readers think are (or should be) of wider interest.

    I've been agonizing a lot about that to do with these things. "Just leave them out" seems an inadequate response. At the least, let's try to find a way to leverage the interest in running these things into a revenue opportunity. Works for obits, afer all ...
     
  9. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    PARTIAL THREADJACK:

    Why is it that team photos of Little League teams are deemed crucial in a small newspaper, but in a bigger area, they're not run and no one complains? My son's Little League team won the championship, but there was no expectation that anyone outside team members' families would care. The local 200,000-circ paper had no mention of it, of course. Why do people at smaller papers think anyone outside the team members' families care just because it's a smaller town? I'm not saying this to rip anyone--Smallpotatoes and Playoff beard, you know your markets, so I'm sure it's working for you. It just wouldn't ever occur to me that anyone else would care about 11-year-olds rolling the ball out at the local park.
    I admit I've never worked at a really small paper, so I'm looking for input from those who have.
     
  10. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    I was at a Dixie Youth game a couple of weeks ago that featured the two local teams. There were 250 or more people there for the event. that's more than I've seen at a regular season softball, soccer, track and field or baseball game in a lot of places. I guess it depends on the community.
     
  11. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Hell, I don't even know if it's working for us! I sure don't see it. We have TWO COLOR pages on Saturday devoted entirely to this. There was talk of a weekly tab like the one in Lawerence, Kansas, but I as designer put the "hell no, I won't do it unless I get a raise and paid for every f'n minute I am here working on the damn thing" speech.

    If new numbers come in and it says we are selling newspapers, good, but as of right now we get the "I don't subscribe to the paper, so can you tell me if Little Timmy's team was in the paper last Saturday?"

    It does get it out of the weekday section, but I wish we didn't run that shit at all.
     
  12. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    In the fall I'm instituting a new policy: I'll run it once. I'm putting a two-by-three photo box in the agate page (Black and white) and you fuckers can submit away.

    I'm going to tech them the bare minimum and cut and paste the captions they provide.

    No caption; no photo.
    Blurry photo; blurry in the paper.
    Ran it earlier but we just won the tri-county-jamboree: Too fucking bad.

    And toi answer some one's question about why not just run it all to make everyone happy -- because even at the smallest papers, over 90 percent of your readers NEVER care. You can't say that about almost anything else, even the dullest of AP stories. People might care. An American takes the lead at the Tour de France? i might care.
    Little Jiimmy wins Novice C swim event? If I ain't related to little Jimmy, I plain don't give a flying fuck.
     
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