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Weekly papers and the one-person sports dept.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FuturaBold, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    I'm the SE for a couple of community papers -- one comes out three times a week, the other is a weekly. There is some cross-over content but there is one school that we only cover for the weekly.

    In a lot of ways, the weekly feels like an "oh-by-the-way" publication since i'm putting out another paper three times a week (including the midweek issue at the same time as the weekly)... Just curious, being a one-man sport show (and stuck at 37.5 hours a week at that), how to make the weekly a decent read, with fresh material ... sometimes i have lots of space, lately not so much (2 pages).

    For instance, how to handle this: the two county rivals that the weekly serves, play basketball against each other tonight (thursday). This week's Weekly Bugle is already done; the next won't come out until next Thursday. By then each team will have played at least two more times ... I'll put gamers on the Web tonight or tomorrow a.m., but what for the paper next week? Any play at all for this game? Both should be pretty competitive...

    If the weekly were my only gig, there are lot of things I could do, obviously. But since there isn't much time to spend because of the other paper, I feel like all I'm doing is rehashing old, old content ...

    Thanks for any ideas folks may have...
     
  2. partain

    partain Member

    You do what you can FB. I was in a similar situation, but about a dozen years ago where I put out an afternoon daily monday through friday and a weekly that printed on Wednesday. The one school I covered exclusively for the weekly always got the shaft, and I had an almost full-time freelancer to help. We usually didn't travel much and stuck with the home teams since we had three public schools and two private schools to cover between the two papers. We also benefited from all three public schools being in the same conference.

    And this was before websites and twitter. Fact is, there's only so much you can do in 37.5 hours -- or even 50 if you're willing to work that much.
     
  3. PirateSports

    PirateSports Member

    FB is the man...period!
     
  4. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Put the gamer in the 3-days a week paper...and call the coaches afterward for a short interview about how the win/loss affects the rest of the season...playoff picture, etc. Maybe run a compressed sidebar on the game, but find a fresh angle for the weekly.

    The day before could have had a big package previewing the next night's game.

    Tough to do in 37.5 hours (that sucks btw)...but I'd focus on eating space with bigger package stories and forget about trying to be everywhere every night of the week. Hit the big stuff and let the coaches call in recaps of a bulk of the games.
     
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Instead of writing a whole other gamer on the weekly, run a photo package instead with the basic info, since the game will be a week old already.
     
  6. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    That's probably something like what I'll do ... I put the gamers on the Web this morning with 5-6 photos from each game ... They were two pretty exciting games -- best atmosphere for high school hoops I've seen this season, so that was fun ... the schools really do not like each other ...
     
  7. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Charticles.

    It may sound stupid, but there are probably a lot of magazine-style short-hitting things you can do to liven things up. Nobody might care about the Team A vs. Team B game from last week, but you could do a "By The Numbers" graphic to compare things, or find other interesting numbers to describe trends in the area.

    Maybe take a look at your favorite magazines. Things like Sports Illustrated's Pop Culture Grid or the Quote of the Week, or whatever it may be, jump out right away to me.

    I doubt you have the time, too, but this might be a place and opportunity for you to explore long-form narrative as well. Sure, Team A beat Team B. I'm sure you've probably explored the Team A's shooting guard lost his dad last year angle, but maybe you just do an in-the-moment-type piece where Team A's small forward pulled down six consecutive rebounds and figure out why he wanted to do that.
     
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I'd usually do either a summary of all the games or I'd pick the most recent game, write a second day lede and get more analytical.

    I like the idea of photos with basic information, though. I've done that on occasion as well.
     
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