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Wake-up call

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ports, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. ports

    ports Guest

    I'm a college student and part-timer at a major metro daily. I've been writing a weekly notebook/feature for one of our zoned editions, learning a lot, getting good clips. Things are nice, generally.

    This week's feature was handed in on deadline, "nice job" from the editor, saw the edits, was pleased with how it turned out, went to bed happy.

    I wake up to a call this morning from feature subject's father. "You did a great job, we're all really happy..."

    (But...)

    "...but the photos you used -- those weren't my kid."

    Has this ever happened to anyone out there? Parent was nice, but mentioned three times that we should just run it next week or in the main sports section. I said I can't promise anything, but we'll see about getting a reprint of the page with the right photo on there.

    Any tales of woe?
     
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I'll send you my life story.
     
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    He doesn't have time to read anything more than 20 percent longer than War and Peace.
     
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I'll send the cliff notes.
     
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Don't sweat it; you're not the one who designed the page and used the photo.

    We had that happen once; we pulled a file photo where the wire service misidentified the local player we were featuring. Turns out they shot a player wearing the same number, because sometimes that happens in college. That's partly what happens when there's little institutional knowledge on a desk, because none of us had seen the kid play or knew much about him and the writer wasn't in to help ID the photo.

    Got a call from his dad the next day, "Love the story, but that's not my kid." Oops.
     
  6. Most papers won't reprint the page. You'll probably have to run a correction. No big deal.
     
  7. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Just tell Jimmy's dad to look at the bottom of Page 6.
     
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I was working for Singleton in the Bay Area. Spent weeks nailing down a feature on an apprentice jockey who was seriously injured in a race. Met with the family, met with the jockey (who could do little more than smile), drove about 60 miles on my own time to find a photo of the jockey in action. I was psyched. It was going to be an Sports front feature on all of the East Bay papers (circ. about 200K at the time). The editors who looked at it were pleased. It was a big deal for a prep guy. Anyway, a few days before the package was set to run, a copy editor in the "hub" needed to fill a hole and used it in one of the zoned editions. Good bye big splash. Hello back page in the other zoned editions. I know these things happen, but I really hated having to be the one to explain it to the jockey's family.
     
  9. joe

    joe Active Member

    I remember that. Sucked a big one.
     
  10. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    If your paper has a plotter (printer that prints proofs on newspaper type paper), you could always make the family one of those. I know we did that at my last shop when we had something similar happen.
     
  11. Good point. I have one of those from the first feature I did. That might be nice if you can do that for the family.
     
  12. I remember I was at my current gig for a month and had this feature-type story about a former high school baseball player who died just after graduation in a tragic work-related accident. Well his former teammates raised all kinds of money and they were going to put a banner out at the field in his memory and retire his jersey. Great stuff, well I talked to everyone about the kid. Typed up this great story and got a lot of feedback about it. Only problem? I had the kid's first name wrong. I heard about it for a few weeks but it soon was a non-issue.
     
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