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Using a message board in a story.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hockeybeat, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I had an idea for a freelance piece and in part of the story, I was thinking about using a particular forum to illustrate the disillusionment of a particular team and /or program.

    It's not going to be a major part of the story. Maybe a couple sentences, tops.

    Is this a good idea or not?
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You wouldn't be the first to do it.

    I'd rather quote real people talking than idiots who hide behind a fake name on a message board, though ... er, um. ... :-[
  4. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    It's like any essentially anonymous source; you decide if the information offered is worth going out on the anonymity limb.
  5. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I wasn't thinking about quoting PeteyThePointGuardSucks. I was thinking about writing a sentence along the lines of: Posters at the popular forum (insert team here).com have decried Coach Jones' inability in making in-game adjustments.

    From there, I'd get someone on the record to say "Coach Jones is an idiot because he doesn't change defenses from the man-to-man to a zone."
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If you use the word "decried" I'll shoot you.
  7. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Won't use decried, then.
  8. I don't do it because I don't think it represents the real opinions of fans, but instead a fringe element that convinces each other of things. There are opinions that are accepted as fact on certain message boards, but if I walked up to 99.9 percent of the fans and alumni, they would have no idea what I was talking about.

    The biggest problem I run into is that the school itself, particularly SID types, read the rantings of people on the message boards and take it as gospel. I've had them fuel animosity toward stories I've written when otherwise the school wouldn't have blinked twice but for the convoluted message board interpretation.

    So my suggestion is not to give them the time of day. For real.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I've done it on occasion.

    I used a quote from a message board as part of the background for a story I did on a probable cause hearing. My publisher read every word of that 1,000 word-plus story and said, "that's a wild story."
  10. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    You might also chuck "disillusionment."

    "Disillusion" works just as well and it's four letters that won't have to be cut from your sterling prose.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Bottom line, you are talking about fans griping, moaning and bitching. So don't use fancy pants words to describe something basic and common.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Fans are pissed.

    Nice and simple.
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