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What do you run big?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Just throwing this off the wall to see how we think when placing stories.

    Tonight, I had early-season (opening week) of league games for prep baseball, a girls tennis team ending a 15-year losing streak to a powerful private school and a preview for a sizeable track & field meet coming this weekend.

    What do you give the main play on your page ... assuming art is equal in all cases.
    yes, photographers, I check photo impact first when designing pages :)
  2. ShiptoShore

    ShiptoShore Member

    I definitely go with the "upset" in tennis.

    There will be more than enough chances to get some big headlines for baseball, and track is, well, track.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I'd also lead with the tennis. Assuming nothing big happened in the baseball games (no no-hitters, four-homer games, major upsets, etc.), the tennis match definitely has more immediate news value. And, like Ship said, you'll have plenty of chances to feature baseball and the track meet will probably get its due this weekend if it's a big one.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I think you make the tennis a strip story with a bold headline, build around baseball with a scores list as a breakout (ideally, with at least a little design touch), and run the track preview elsewhere on the page.

    Tennis meet only affects two schools, baseball conference play opening affects all of them. It's a good opportunity to highlight the news of the day -- the tennis upset, but really draw readers into what they -- unless they're fans of the teams involved in the tennis meet -- care more about.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Given that the tennis involved a 15-year streak, I might lean toward that and give them their 15 minutes of fame, not knowing the readership or particulars of your market. Maybe if one of the baseball teams was a dynasty or has a huge following, that might factor into play.

    Previews are OK, but I like to lean toward features during the regular season. What exactly do you say in a track preview: "Six large schools are coming to town and they're all planning to run fast this week?" I'd try to pick one particular athlete and focus the spotlight on him/her, saying "Joe Blow hopes to lower his personal best this week at the Podunk Invitational, where he'll renew his rivalry with Jack Fartknocker."
  6. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Not knowing your market, your focus or your other story options, my first inclination is to say that it's an awful lot of preps for your front page. What else have you got going on?

    That said, I tend to echo Versatile's thought process ... but I might even go so far as to say that you'd be overplaying tennis, considering what I suspect is a relatively limited readership (milestone aside). I'm sort of tempted to play tennis as a front-page brite or an extended tease, with the full story inside.

    I'm also a big believer in "advancing" news for readers -- setting them up for what will happen, rather than what already happened -- so the track story has some value as a centerpiece if the art is strong enough. But it sounds like it could hold a day, too, since the meet doesn't take place until the weekend.

    Anyhow, that's just one completely hypothetical view from 10,000 feet.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Yes, much depends on your readership and region...different sports attract bigger crowds in different areas.

    The track preview was relevant because its the first major invite in the state with a 100-meter showdown that matches the state's top two runners from 2009 & '10 -- one of which is from a local school.

    We're a small to mid-size paper, so preps usually dominates our front page. Our local pro teams are highlighted in sidebar items or breakout items on the inside pages, sneaking onto the front on occasion.
  8. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Never underestimate Jack Fartknocker.
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