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what do you tell a coach ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by williemcgee51, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. I am the beat writer for the local arena football team. I met with the coach today to check and see if there was anything major that happened in the last week (I just got back from vacation) during the team's postseason bye. The coach said he had a story idea. He proposed it to me and I knew my SE would shoot it down. I said I would present the idea to my editor, but after that, it was out of my hands. Is that the correct response to a story idea that is not good? I know the coach and he and I have a great relationship, but should I be honest and say that it is not something my paper would want to run?
    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Explain why. If he doesn't get it, nothing you can do.
  3. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I agree with Mod. If you pass the buck, eventually a perceptive person will be able to see your own lack of enthusiasm and will be able to tell you are yanking his chain. Just be honest. He'll respect it.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    A coach who will suggest story ideas is a good thing, though. Try to politely explain why his won't fly and give examples of what might work. Sometimes that will help him see what you're looking for.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    If you have a good relationship with a coach, I'd say something to the effect of, "that sounds like a great idea; however, my editor will probably not be receptive to it," and be prepared to explain why.

    But also let him know that you appreciate his giving you a story idea.
  6. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    If you have a good relationship with the coach, you should have no problem saying "that's a great idea, but it's not something that would work for us."
    Similar thing happened to me yesterday. I am doing a story on a local Olympian on the US fencing team. Talking to one of his coaches and she tells me there is another man who trains at the club who is a paraolympian. He fences in a wheechair. She asked if I would be interested in pursuing a story on him as well. And I tell her, honestly, I am swamped with Olympic stuff at the moment. But I give her my card and tell her to remind me about the other fencer after the Olympics. Who knows in September if that story might fly? Right now, it would get lost.
  7. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I wouldn't shoot it down completely. Maybe tell them it might work down the road.
    Here's why: An initial story idea might not sound like much. However, say another facet of the story pops into the coach's head and he brings it up to you. That facet turns the story from worthless to centerpiece. If you shoot it down completely, maybe he doesn't come to you with the next snippet of information.
  8. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    Is it not salvageable at all? If it is, tweak it a bit with the coach.
  9. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    How many questions did you ask about it? I would try to get some more info outside of his original pitch before I completely shot it down. I also like MU's suggestion about telling him it has to wait.
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