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Tracking down sources

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jakewriter82, May 31, 2007.

  1. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    So I got word yesterday from a reliable source that the boys' prep basketball coach here is staying another year when he previously said he was resigning at the end of the season.

    So I called his office today and left a message.
    He's usually pretty good about getting back to me, but sometimes he just doesn't call because he doesn't want to talk about what he knows I'll probably ask.

    I also have his cell number so this afternoon if I don't hear from him I'm going to call that....

    How far should you push something with a source that might not want to talk about certain things?
    He's also the Athletic Director at the high school, so I can't call the AD and ask about the coach.
    I guess the best I can do is call his cell phone after he gets done teaching class this afternoon and hope he answers.
    What else could I do to get him to answer my questions?
    It bothers me a bit when people dodge your questions. Coaches especially. They're not dodging me more the people in town. The way I see it some people probably know already so you might as well end the speculation and come out with it.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  3. MilanWall

    MilanWall Member

  4. Danny Noonan

    Danny Noonan Member

    Thirded. Since he's the school AD he can run but he can't hide that easily.
  5. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    Well so far he has. heh.
    Was just at the school and just missed him, again.
    He's going to be in the weight room within the hour so I'm going to find him there.
  6. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Active Member

    1. Yeah, confront the guy directly ...
    2. Call up other school officials -- the principal of the school, for starters ... if its a public school, then does the school system have an athletics director? If so, give him a shout too ...
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    and jake, fyi, you haven't "pushed" it at all yet because you haven't reached him.

    once you get him and he refuses to talk, that's a different story.
  8. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    Well I got hold of him on his cell phone. He said he didn't want a story done on it yet.
    He said he was going to be the coach next year though. Would I risk upsetting him if I ran a blurb saying he will come back and I'll have more on it next week? I really don't care if he gets upset, he'll get over it. I think people deserve to know. Especially considering he told me he'd call me soon.
    I asked, "So will you be the basketball coach next year?" and he said, "It's looking like it, yes" and then said, "I don't want anything in the paper yet, though. I'm meeting with my players on Saturday."
    Then he said he'd call me before Wednesday.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Tough call, because his mind may not be completely made up on staying just yet. Any other source who would be willing to go on the record that the coach is staying?

    Also, ask the coach on how long he would want you to hold off on a story. If it's a day or two and no competiiton in the area, waiting that long wouldn't do much harm. If he gives you and indefinite time period, I would tell the coach you need something and run with it if he still balks.
  10. Brookerton

    Brookerton Member

    I'd wait and do the story next week when he's ready. You'll get more of a story from him then when he's willing to talk than right now.
    If you just piss him off now and he does come back he might not be as helpful during the season. And really if it's only a few days, what's the big deal about having the story in Friday's paper or in Tuesday's paper. It doesn't sound like it's that big of story that it needs to be in the paper immediately.
  11. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    It doesn't sound like this is ground-breaking stuff, so it really isn't worth it to burn what could be a valuable source. Unless you have competition in the area that is capable of running a similar story before you, I'd wait.
  12. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    Well, what's funny is today he was golfing in this city tournament and his team ended up winning, so I took his photo and talked to him about his golf win.
    He said he was sorry he cut me off but he was out golfing..
    Gotta love small towns sometimes. I asked him again and he said he'd call me before my next deadline.
    And see I'd LOVE to talk to him Saturday but we won't publish again until Wednesday.
    Gotta love working at a twice-weekly sometimes, too.
    The daily COULD do something on it, but at this point I can't put out anything on it if the daily gets it this weekend or Monday.
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