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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jaherman, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. jaherman

    jaherman Guest


    I've been reading this board for a while, but I'm finally ready to make my first post.

    Anyway, I'm a sports editor at a daily college newspaper at a school without a journalism program. I'm just wondering if anyone has any innovative ideas or resources to help as we try to set up a better training program.

    Some of the things we already in place:

    -- Our copy edits are done with the writer there, so, presumably, they should be learning from this.
    -- Night editor sends out an e-mail to staff critiquing a story in the previous day's section along with a professional story to learn from
    -- Monthly workshops/discussions
    -- Beat guides (these need work)
    -- Weekly journalism tip of the week

    Any other ideas?

    Your help is appreciated.
  2. --a list of places to drink beer cheap
    --which fast food joints stay open 24 hours
    --Top 5 pizza shacks in town
    --list of which athletes spend their booster money at the gentleman's clubs (I'd want to hang out with them)
  3. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    arrange to have the best pizza joint that advertises in the paper pay you in pizzas. That way copy editing/production night can turn into a cheap pizza night.
  4. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

  5. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    strippers? that'd help.
  6. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Make contacts with every daily non-college paper nearby, and see if you can get their writers/editors/photogs/designers to come and do seminars. When I saw beat guides on your list, the first thing that came to mind was the Vanifesto. Print that out and give a copy to every writer you have. That might be the most instructive piece of prose I've ever seen on how to be a beat writer.

    Also, in the absence of a j-program (I'm assuming there's no PR program, either), talk to the school's media relations staff. What they write is a slant, but a good portion of it is in the same style and same format (short paragraphs, lots of declarative sentences, etc.) as what's in most newspapers. That's their goal, to get it in the paper. It has a slant, so take the content with a grain of salt, but they can probably help you in terms of how the writing gets done.
  7. MrWrite

    MrWrite Member

    not to be unhelpful, but i just found this part funny.
  8. jaherman

    jaherman Guest

    That's what I get for rushing to type the message seconds before class.
  9. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    So far some good ideas on helping your writers improve. I guess my biggest thing when I see college papers is hammer home the idea that sportswriters are NOT SportsCenter anchors. It's talked about a lot on here about the ESPN-nazition of sports writing. For example, by writing "State U's guard exploded in the second half with a barrage of trifectas" is not good writing. But kids hear it on ESPN and think it's good writing. Hell, I did that. It's not.

    Other than that, novelist's idea is great... bring in professionals to talk and answer questions.
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    One thing to attack, jaherman, is to get the basics down. And by that, I mean if you have a writer word things clumsily, or use a word when there was a better one available, sit them down and make sure they understand WHY that wasn't right.

    Especially with sports writers, if you have somebody who isn't comfortable with sports parlance, the best gift you can give them is an idea of how to word things like a sports writer. I know as a college sports editor, I had to do a lot of that.
  11. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Sounds like you guys are already doing lots of good stuff. Way more organized than we were back in the day.
    One more thing you might do is reach out to alums in the biz. Maybe ask a few if they'd be willing to occasionally read and critique stories, or stop in for a workshop when they're back in town. Or try the dailies that cover your school. The more you can do to expose your writers to professionals, the better.
  12. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    ignore this suggestion. don't use p.r. people as a model for journalism.
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