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Unplug the phones

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ColbertNation, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    I've been hesitent to post this, but I'd really like some feedback here. The bosses instituted a no-call-in policy for the spring sports. We now only accept game results by e-mail. No fax, no phone. We have 35 high schools in our coverage area, and many of the coaches are upset (understandably so, from my point of view). A lot of them have called and said they aren't going to give us game results anymore. The bosses -- convinced that the coaches will "eventually come around" -- are determined to stick to this policy. I asked my SE tonight and he said they would rather get most of the results by e-mail than all of the results by phone and fax.
    I've thought about various ways to handle this, but I think the safest rout for me (call me selfish, but I need this job) is to let this whole thing play out and implode on itself.
    I have made several points on this matter, including:

    • So, now we're asking the coaches to do our work for us
    • Aren't we providing the service here? The coaches are doing us the favor by reporting the score in the first place.
    • The above-mentioned: Do you want to get some of the scores by e-mail or most/all of them by phone and fax?
    • To not talk to the coaches disconnects them from our reporters.

    To this point, it has all fallen on deaf ears. Almost every other paper in our circulation range (and some higher) still take scores by phone. It seems arrogant to me that they think they've figured out a way to get around that.
    Anyone have any thoughts on this? If nothing else, it felt good to vent a bit.
     
  2. Unfortunately, I probably don't have any good advice for you. I'm just kind of curious if this is being implemented as a cost-cutting measure, or a time-saving measure? What is the rationale behind it — not that there is any rationalizing something as stupid as this.

    I think you just kind of have to ride the wave and it'll either end up failing miserably or making your job just a little easier, I guess.
     
  3. redsox99

    redsox99 Member

    Are they just going to take the info from the e-mail, copy and paste into a news file and not make any changes? Otherwise, what's the difference in taking it over the phone or by fax, you still gotta take what they give you and work it into a roundup, agate, or whatever your style is, right? Of all the idiotic things I've seen in my time (and continue to see), this one ranks right up there (or down there).
     
  4. I don't think it's the worst policy, actually.

    Our place probably gets 75-80 percent of HS results emailed in as it is.

    The way prep departments have been sliced, it just seems like a more efficient use of time to cut and paste or do a quick rewrite then try to answer phones that always seem to all be ringing at the same time.

    Frees people up to make calls they have to make without worrying about constantly answering phones and trying to pry info from clueless teenage girls.

    With the proliferation of treos and blackberries, I would think many coaches could even text stuff in pretty painlessly.

    If there's a coach who really has a hardship with this, whose manager doesn't have email access, yeah, you make an exception. But I do think it's the way to go.
     
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    CN, how big of a paper are we talking about here?
     
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Your managers are morons.
     
  7. I think it's pretty bogus, regardless of how big of a newspaper.

    What happens to the team that travels outside of the coverage area and won't be back in time to get it in the next day's paper? Two days later, it's old news.
     
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Can't wait til some coach sends in incomplete results. Then you email him back, but he's not online so you can't get the correct info. Then you call him to confirm.
     
  9. rtse11

    rtse11 Member

    We emphasize to our coaches in the preseason mailing we'd prefer email or fax - helps with spelling of names, for instance - but we'll still take calls. Most of the younger coaches are happy to go electronic.
     
  10. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    I would love it if we got all our submissions by e-mail, but to mandate it just won't work. Not only will the coaches complain, but the parents will be even more vocal and then you're stuck blaming the coach saying that the results would be in if they would just e-mail them. I'm sure eventually that's how it will be anyway, but this could be handled better. And what happens when you miss an e-mail (which you will)? Then you'll never hear the end of it from that coach.
     
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Your manager has chosen your department's convenience over the goodwill of the community. Beware these sorts of decisions.
     
  12. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    Yup. Softball coach sent me one last week. Nice selection of stats for his team ... but forgot to include the final score, or the name of the team they played against.
     
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