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The end of call-takers?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I was wondering if anyone, anywhere, has had any luck steering schools (high schools, mainly) into submitting box score info in a fashion that can be easily (or, hell not easily) whipped into shape for an agate page. E-mail, text, etc., rather than calling or faxing.

    I'd rather have my call takers monitoring e-mail and cleaning up same as opposed to doing an 1979 flashback every night when games are being played and depending so much on the vagaries of (too often late) call-ins.
  2. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I can barely get some of my coaches to spell the first names of kids on their own teams. The last thing I want them to do is to turn on a computer.

    Seriously, I have one coach in our coverage area who e-mails her stuff in. While it does help, because the coach has names spelled correctly, I often wonder if I'd get her results 30 minutes sooner if she wasn't typing it all in. She's also been late several times, and I think if she had called in, she probably would have been on time.
  3. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    We've got one team that e-mails a college-style box score about five minutes after the game ends. It's fantastic and there is absolutely no chance of any other schools in our area figuring out how to do it.
  4. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I've got one COLLEGE that can't even do that.
  5. for_the_hunt

    for_the_hunt Member

    The end of call-takers will only occur after the end of idiot coaches ...

    For every three or four faxes or e-mails we receive, we've got to call about one coach back. You either can't read the fax because it's too light, somehow Podunk Joe went 1 4-4 16 or the numbers just don't add up.

    If a box requires math, I'd rather the coaches just call it in. If it's like swimming or XC, where you just need the times, that's a little different.
  6. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    A lot of times, our coaches can't even dictate the info properly, so how are they going to figure out how to type it in the proper format? I'd say it's a long, long way off. If you can get a few to do it properly, you're lucky.
  7. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    A coach for a HORRIBLE (and I truly mean HORRIBLE) girls basketball team in our area faxes in his team's scorebook pages after every game. While the book does have first and last names (I'm always amazed at the number of box scores we receive that don't have first names, but that's for another rant), this team's scorekeeper either refuses or just doesn't know how to mark and include foul shots. The scorekeeper also rarely totals up what he/she marks down.
  8. RayKinsella

    RayKinsella Member

    Maybe we are lucky, most of our coaches have half a brain.

    But our clerk staff has been cut dramatically in the past several years, so we have somewhat been forced to go the online route. Now about half of our coaches submit their box online. At the beginning of the year, we give them the option of e-mailing and we explain what we need in the e-mail.

    If they figure it out, great. If not, we still take the phone calls from the old school coaches. But in the end, it saves time. Especially on wrestling!
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I'm fairly certain that within the next year or two, a majority of our football and basketball callers -- and they're much more often volunteers rather than the coaches themselves -- will be putting their boxscore into a template on our Web site. Approved submitters will have the necessary user name and password to access the template.

    Then, our agate editor will just pull a correctly formatted box off the Internet, copy-and-paste it into our front-end system.

    With the exception of the "outsiders" actually putting the boxes into the template, that's what we have already.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Same here, shottie.
    Right now, whether it's phone, fax or e-mail our clerks are inputting into our database templates that go right to our web site and are later culled and merged for print.
    Once we work out all the kinks -- OK that could take forever -- "outsiders" will be able to do the inputting directly.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Several coaches did that at the paper I worked for last. Some of the guys prefered that, some prefer phone calls.

    I like the email or fax, because I can get to it on MY schedule and not have to stop what I'm doing (usually editing and layout) to spend 15 minutes taking dictation and writing stuff up. We ask that they include a contact number, so we aren't stuck out if it gets royally messed up.

    For swimming, wrestling and track, I absolutely INSISTED we get it in written form. Too many names to potentially misspell, too many numbers to mess up. Not to mention there was no way in hell I was going to spend 30 minutes taking dictation on swimming and track agate when I needed to be doing pages in order to make deadline.

    That is what we get college interns for. (And, yes, I did a bazillion inches of agate in my intern days, too.)
  12. This is the single most believable post in the history of the board.
    My experience on the agate page way back in the day is that, by the time they remember to phone the stuff in, most of the coaches were sockless drunk and barely remembered they'd had a game that day.
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