1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Today's nitpicking question: datelines

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

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    You know the one thing I've figured out? I'm sure not going to tell you you're wrong. Your reality is your reality; you're doing what works for your newspaper.

    Now, what I think we will hear: Half of the respondents will believe I don't give datelines enough weight. Half of the respondents will believe you don't give bylines enough weight.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Shot -- You're not giving datelines enough weight. ;)
  3. I'm not trying to say you're wrong either. But if I make a bunch of phone calls and work for and hour or two on a 1,000-word article about Podunk High's football game, I'm sure as hell not going to byline it "From Staff Reports" just because I wasn't at the game. I was always taught that if you write the article, you get the byline.

    The only thing I label as a "Staff Report" is a press release or a submitted article that I have to re-write or edit.
  4. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    See? See? It's begun already. ;)
  5. my rule on bylines is that if it's a rewrite or an event I didn't attend, I'll byline it if there's more than one source quoted. if it's just a coach, it gets a "staff reporters" and a dateline. if i talk to a coach and an athlete, it gets a byline and no dateline
  6. shotglass, just out of curiosity, when (aside from the obvious: press releases, submitted stories, etc.) would you not give a byline to someone who wrote a story?
  7. I'm not writing 1,000-word gamers. It's a weekly paper, so it's more like a recap of the week for, say, Podunk High. It may include highlights from two or three games, quotes from the coach, maybe a player or two and a look at the week ahead. Maybe I was at one of the games, maybe I was at all three. Maybe I didn't go to any of them, but instead called the coach or visited him at practice.

    To me, there's no difference in those scenarios. You put in the leg work and craft the story, you get a byline. If I was just stealing box scores out of a bigger daily and writing short gamers off that info or rewriting press releases from a SID, then, no, I absolutely wouldn't give myself a byline. But I have always operated under the assumption that if you write it, you get a byline.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Bob, like I said, it's just one of myriad lines that get drawn. To many, the dateline is the indication whether a writer was on site for coverage. To others, it's the byline.

    This all came up about six months ago in what turned out to be a really pithy thread about doing minor league baseball rewrites off the radio. ;)
  9. I'm not trying to start arguments or anything, I'm just trying to expose myself to different perspectives and opinions. I've been in this field for six years, but I started as the sports editor (read: only sports staffer) at a tri-weekly, then I moved across the country and now I'm the sports editor (read: only sports staffer) at a weekly. The big thing is that I've never had a senior staffer to give me tips, tricks, ideas, etc. I have always been able to set policy, so I want to see how that policy stacks up against others in the business.

    Anyway, I appreciate your feedback. I just stumbled across this site a few weeks back and I'm actually pretty excited about it!
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Lived the life. We're always glad to help.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page