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Two cancelled subscriptions in one week because of me

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Last Friday I received a call from a swimming parent who said he was cancelling his subscription because the swimming coverage was "the worst I've ever seen."
    I didn't understand the problem because the coach was e-mailing results and the results were getting in the paper each week.
    Today, I received an e-mail from circulation saying "Subscription cancelled due to content." The reason was because the reader's kid's under-12 travel basketball results never got into the paper. Again, I'm dumbfounded. Each week I receive dozens of youth basketball articles in each community, enough for 110 inches of copy this week (it typically ranges between 80 and 120 inches each week). I don't see how I could be missing anything that I've received.
    To be honest, I'm not sure if I received writeups of that team. I get so many of them (under-12 red, under-12 white, under-11 red, under-11 white, etc.) that I can't tell one from another. I just forward the e-mails to our editorial assistants who format it and put it in a Word file. When it's time to layout the youth pages, I just get the file, edit it and place it in the page's folder. I assume that everything I've sent to the editorial assistants is in the file and haven't figured out a way to check to see if everything that was received is in fact in there.
    Seeing as how management tends to take cancelled subscriptions seriously, is it time for me to rethink how I cover swimming and how I handle youth sports or perhaps time for me to step aside and let somebody else see if they can do better?
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    You need to get over it. Don't let whiny swimming parents and under-whatever-color-coded-rec-ball parents dictate how you do your job.

    If management has a problem with either of these things, they'll let you know and you can discuss it with them. But dear lord, if you're getting 110 inches of youth sports copy in your paper each week, the only thing you need to rethink is a stricter policy.
  3. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    That sort of depends, sp. Are you planning to knee-jerk with every angry reader? Because if you do, you will never have any consistency of coverage in your section.

    More than anything else, you need to build a little bit of conviction in your way of doing things.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Fuck 'em.
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Word for fucking word
  6. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Some people will never be satisfied. You could write a Pulitzer-winning story and Insane Mom will come up to you and tell you it sucked because you didn't write enough about her kid.

    Two people dropped their subscriptions. Out of how many total readers? And maybe a couple of people pick up the paper tomorrow, so it evens out. You can't make everyone happy. Don't even try. It will drive you bats.

    If your paper has a 10,000 circulation, then you've still got 9,998 content readers. They're who you write for. Those people who dropped the paper will probably end up coming back once they realize that's they only place they're going to get a souvenir of Little Johnny's meet.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Those fucking assholes would have cancelled their subs anyway when junior went off to smoke dope at college. So fuck 'em.
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's worth a phone call to the ex-subscribers. Find out what their deal is. Explain how things are done. Maybe find a way to do things better. If the people canceled are just cranks, fine. You've done your job.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Can't be all things to all people. Ask yourself and others INSIDE the paper if you should revise editorial priorities and move on.

    I had a conversation last night with a parent/youth coach about coverage. I'm just a freelancer, but I'm the only person they ever actually see face-to-face and I'm not shy to talk or tell the truth. In this case the truth is no matter what you do, there is a percentage of the audience that won't be happy.

    Just ask Barack Obama.
  10. EmbassyRow

    EmbassyRow Active Member

    Most importantly, don't dwell on it. Don't sit there thinking, "Two cancelled subscriptions in one week because of me." It'll drive you nuts; it'll make you bitter.
  11. Do not worry about it. My SE received a letter from a grandparent last week who was upset that we did not have a mug of his grandson in our paper because he signed a bowling, yes bowling, scholarship to a local NAIA school. The kid was mentioned in an article on signing day, but because we had a photo of the other three kids (two signed to play football and another inked a track scholarship) and his grandson did not have a mug, he said he was canceling his subscription.

    The funny thing about the situation is the old bag said he would get a subscription to our competitor that is five miles away. Our competitor had nothing in their paper about the kid, or the other three.

    People think because they pay for the newspaper, they can get everything they want. I pay for cable and I want the MLB Network, but I do not get it. Yes, I can go to other cable network, but that does not mean they will have MLB TV.
  12. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    They'll cancel their subscriptions, then buy it at the newsstand. To hell with em.
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