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Weekly preview stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by amraeder, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Okay, so we're entering Week 2 of the football season up here, and I just got done finishing up my weekly preview.
    I was kind of curious how you guys did these.
    We have 5 local schools that play football, and the goal was to say something intelligent about each game. So my system usually involves talking to the coach and/or a player, getting some quotes and throwing together a piece, hopefully with some sort of idea that ties them all together -- this weeks it was about how Hellen Keller could have done better than each of their receptive d's in Week 1.
    Problem is, that means I just dropped a 54" bomb on my editor.
    54" seems a bit excessive, but it doesn't seem like I was excessive on any one matchup.
    How do you guys do this?
    (A special football section would be very nice, but we don't have one.)
    I only gave the search function a quick glance, but only saw discussion of preseason previews. Hope this hasn't been touched on too recently.
  2. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    54 inches seems like a lot...

    maybe you could do a featured game of the week, rotating between your core coverage schools, and dedicate 15 inches to that.
    then use info boxes for the others, including some quick hit stuff on each game.
    Make it short and sweet in those info boxes:
    Team names:
    players to watch:
    Keys to the game/why this game matters:
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Just do an in-depth -- maybe six or eight graphs -- on the first school (or like ICB said, the best game), then give about three to each of the other four. You can either rotate it by each school in your area or the best game each week. If you get a quote or two from a coach at each school, or at least three of the five, then it should suffice. They just want the time and place of the game.

    I'd say for that type of preview, about 800-900 words should be your max. At least that's how it was at my old shop.
  4. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Cool, thanks guys. Keep the thoughts coming. The plan is to sit down with my editor before next week and see if he wants to change the format, so the more ideas you can throw at me, the better. I think all 5 of them are good previews, but this is crazy. I think the desire (which was easier when there were fewer teams) was to give them all equal footing in the preview, but what I did this week is crazy (not every team played last week, so it was easier).
  5. dargan

    dargan Active Member

    Yeah, 54 inches is pretty crazy. Like ICB said, 15 inches, maybe 20, would be good for the top game/most important school, whatever. With the others, just do capsule-style info boxes: teams, site, time, coaches, players to watch (offense and defense), brief touch on the key matchup, did you know question, one-sentence bottom line. Reads easy and people like that kind of organized information.

    Already in Week 2? Wow. Zero Week is Aug. 31 down here.
  6. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Yeah, earliest starting h.s. football in the nation, baby!!
    But trust, me, you wouldn't wan't to be playing football up here in November.
  7. dargan

    dargan Active Member

    Halloween marks the date when you don't have to worry about the heat here.
  8. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Very different worlds, my friend.
    I'm glad football's back, though. Always fun to cover.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    good advice.
  10. We're a lot like you. We have eight schools in our coverage area led by the "big four" in the immediate vicinity (staff all home games, district road games and road games against top-10 teams).

    We start doing previews as early as Wednesday and Thursday at the latest (if there's a game pitting two big-four schools, we'll do an advance from each side). Biggest games are on Friday's front, while the other four tend to be put in a roundup on our specialty football page (which I get to start doing next week).

    If you go on newspagedesigner, you can find some neat Friday football previews.
  11. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Aug. 31 is the start here too.
  12. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    Focus on a game of thw week and maybe do shorts on the others. or, if you are going to do a huge 54 incher, break it up by games so it doesn't read like one long story.
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