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Today's nitpicking question: datelines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Cadet, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I'm with shotty.

    Dateline reflects where the information was compiled, not where the story was typed.

    If I cover a 9-man football game 30 miles from town, then come back and bang out the story, you still want a dateline on there to let folks know you went to the game.
  2. i have no problem datelining a story where it originated even if it's written 1100 miles away. i just wouldn't dateline a second-day story if there's nothing at the site the day before the story appears
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I would.

    Especially if what a filed the night before was a gamer against a hard deadline, but afterward I talked to the players and did a preview for another road game.

    If you don't dateline it, aren't readers going to assume it was written at home?
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Do readers really give a damn, Zeke?

    It's not a gamer. It's not time sensitive. I think people probably can tell whether you were there or not based on the level of insight and access displayed in the story.
  5. The dateline should reflect whether or not you were actually at the game. If you were, you can dateline the story. Even if it's a second-day story, if the info originated at the game and you were there, I say give it a dateline.
  6. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    We run into this problem with a few schools in my coverage area (even a college). For instance, Princeton Borough and Princeton Township are two different towns - different police departments, different town governments, and we still haven't made a list of which venues are in the borough and which are in the township. The line allegedly ran through the 20-yard-line of the old Palmer Stadium.

    We have a couple of high schools with doughnut communities, a well-known town in the middle of a larger surrounding township. So for instance, Hunterdon Central High School, is located a mile or less outside the Flemington town line. Everyone uses Flemington for the dateline. One of our old editors would insist we use Raritan Township - the surrounding township - because the high school isn't located in the Flemington town limits. Ditto Allentown (NJ) High School -its located less than a mile (maybe .1 mile) outside of the Allentown town limits, so the editor would make us use Upper Freehold Township as a dateline.
  7. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    For any Denver folks ...
    Clear this up for me.
    Kent Denver School is in Denver, Cherry Hills Village or Greenwood Village? Any stories of mine datelined Cherry Hills Village were always changed to Denver.

    Along the same lines. We have a high school in my neck of the woods in which the high school is in one town, while the stadium - which is 1,000 feet away from the high school - is technically in the next town. You cover a basketball game and the dateline is the town where the high school is. You cover a football game and the dateline is the next town over.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Here's what has long been my take on this, and it's probably going to go against some of you.

    To me, the byline on a story is the indication that a writer was on site, not the dateline.

    As a result, if I see a "From staff reports" story with a dateline, it doesn't necessarily give me twitches.

    If your reporter was doing a story from a call-in, and he puts a dateline to show where the event was held, I find that OK as long as he doesn't use his byline.

    Like I said, I know this really rubs some the wrong way. Appgrad, I know, thinks this is spitting into the face of Journalism 101. But it's our paper's outlook on it.
  9. Shotglass, not sure I agree with that. As the only sports writer at a weekly, 80-90% of the stories I write are based on phone interviews with coaches, players, athletic directors, etc. If I write 10 stories in a week, I'm not going to put "From Staff Reports" on eight of them. I wrote the stories, therefore my byline goes on all of them -- but it has nothing to do with whether or not I attended the game.

    The byline tells who wrote the story, not where they were or if they were on site for a game. That's what the dateline is for.
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Not sure we're talking about the same thing, Bob. Do you mean, you take a phone call, write a game story off it and byline it?
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    My byline philosophy at my one-man wrecking crew:

    I go to the game OR I get quotes via phone/e-mail/smoke signal: By Mystery Meat
    I talk to nobody but build a story from information published and/or researched: From staff reports
    I get a submitted story and don't have to add significant information to it: From contributed reports.
  12. Well, I can only physically be at one game per night. In any given week, maybe only three or four of my stories are about games I actually attended. But if I do the leg work (even by phone) and write the story, I byline it.

    We're probably not talking about the same thing. I assume you're working at a daily and talking about bylining a 200-word gamer filed on deadline.
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