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This just floored me, though I guess it shouldn't have

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rudy Petross, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Rudy Petross

    Rudy Petross Member

    This was the email I received a couple of days ago.

    This is (NAME OMITTED) from STATS and I oversee our network of data collection reporters across the United States and Canada. Due to our recent purchase of PA SportsTicker, we asked SportsTicker to provide us with a list of their best reporters in the field. You are among that elite group. We currently use our pool of people in the field to cover the following sports on a statistical play-by-play level: MLB, NFL, NBA, NFL, MLS, NCAA football & NCAA men’s basketball.
    To be clear, STATS’ coverage needs are not the same as those held by SportsTicker. While some aspects of what STATS needs may be similar, the majority of our needs do not involve writing.
    For most of the sports mentioned above, our data collection is done from the reporter’s home off television. Currently we offer pressbox work for MLB, NFL and we’re moving into MLS stadiums this season.
    1. The crux (real-time data collection) of what we use our reporter pool for is broken down below:
    a. This reporter is responsible for running our live play-by-play software on their own computer from home (or if certified, at the game). This data goes to clients who want to see that our real-time data feed is up to date with all in-game statistics. Basically this is the running boxscore.
    b. In order to be certified to be a paid reporter, a reporter must be assigned to and complete enough games to ensure we know you understand our software and can stay up-to-date with in-game action as well as complete the game within a minute of the game’s completion. These test-level assignments are unpaid. Once you are certified, most assignments pay at least $30 per. The third reporter for baseball is paid $15 for a game, all other assignments are minimum $30.
    We are always on the lookout for new reporters, especially those with experience in the field.
    Virtually everything STATS does with reporters is statistics-based. We are interested in rushing yards and home runs and power-play goals, and we leave the written analysis to someone else.
    We cover games using our own software, using reporters who have made the effort to learn and master these programs. If covering the statistical elements of a game in up your alley, then we will certainly give you the opportunity to learn our software. No guarantees though – future assignments are based on the effort and quality of the reporter, as well as the needs in the local market.

    I don't even know where to start with this. Work for free, then get $30 a game. Wow, that will pay the rent. I am tempted to email this editor back and tell him to go pound sand, but it wouldn't do any good. This is the future of the business and it makes me more and more glad that I only dabble in it now, rather than have to rely on these souless bastards who have no moral issue with exploiting writers and reporters.
  2. sostartled

    sostartled Member

    congrats on being elite though!
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    If I was unemployed, I'd do this.

    That's sad. But I bet a bunch of others would do it too, which means they'll get away with it.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Please, I get more money umpiring Babe Ruth-level baseball games.

    Having said that, I *am* unemployed, so I'd be willing to do this. Desperate times call for desperate measures, don'tcha know?
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Imagine those employed by STATS are the lowest paid "elites" in the world.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    lol they paid $50 a game years ago when they were on AOL.
  7. Rudy Petross

    Rudy Petross Member

    I agree but you could make more money per hour at Walmart or a temp job. I have always approached this as a business, though it is hard because I loved covering sports. But we tend to sacrifice an awful lot just to go to a game. Our motor sports writer used to pay his way to cover Indy 500. Screw that. as far as Stats, I would rather work some menial job that paid more and then blog at night about sports. At least I am doing it on my terms and you never know, the blog may get popular and you will end up making money whle doing something you love, the very reason we got into this business in the first place.
  8. rascalface

    rascalface Member

    This is the way STATS Inc. has been for years and years. I used to score baseball games for them when I was in high school. A buddy of mine saw a little blurb about it in the back of the Earl Weaver Baseball manual and wrote in and eventually got me involved. It's not a career, for sure, but it was a pretty easy way to make a little extra cash.
  9. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Rudy, I think you're getting a little too worked up about this. You're acting like it's an assault on journalism, when in fact, it is not a journalistic endeavor at all. They want to pay people to punch in stats and play-by-play while they watch a game at home.

    If you work a day job and spend your evenings watching a lot of sports, seems to me like an easy way to make $30 a night.
  10. Rudy Petross

    Rudy Petross Member

    You know I hadn't thought of it like that, very good point, Barsuk. You really aren't expending much energy and you get a little cash for something you would probably do anyway. Of course I still don't like the whole work for free thing they pose.
  11. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I understand that, but it is a good way to weed people out. It ensures they get people who actually want to do it, and it ensures they get people who actually CAN do it. I would guess more people fail that initial test period than pass it, because as anyone who has covered a high school football or basketball game knows, keeping stats is not as easy as one might expect.
  12. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    The whole "watch a game on TV" thing assumes friendly camera angles, though.
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