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What to do, what to do?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. For those of you in the community sports biz, how do you handle never having enough space to do what you want with your section?

    My three-times-a-week paper usually alots one open page and one jump page (60-70 percent ads) for sports. We're small-town but we have six high schools and lots of other community events we try to keep up with. A lot of folks in town say they subscribe just for the sports and other items dealing with their kids.

    My higher ups are willing to spend on stringers and photog help (which is great). The problem is I never have space to run anything. Maybe one nice big photo and story package and then roundup, briefs, standings and we're done. What about the 12 other teams that played? What about the features I'd like to write or enterprise stories?

    I'm forever apologizing to folks for not covering their teams or events, not because I'm not willing to, but because we don't have the space for them. Why send photogs to three games when I won't have any room for their stuff?

    Then the daily in our chain 50 miles away gets all sorts of space and runs all wire stories for days in a row... frustrating...
     
  2. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    Does your paper have a web site? If it does (and your paper doesn't allot more print space) then start making online the focus. If readers in your community are attracted to sports coverage, they'll catch on to new content online and visit the site regularly. Don't know if that helps.
     
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    My God I wish I had your problem of not enough room and plenty of help.

    I agree with the above suggestion of focusing on the online. It's like having an extra page or extra pages to print stuff that wouldn't make the print edition.
     
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

    My solution was always to bitch, complain, moan and groan and then slowly spiral into a well of despair and acceptance.

    This was before the days of having a website.
     
  5. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    I will third the online, and if higher-ups ask why you want to put so much on there, just start showing them that with all the page hits they have a whole new revenue source. I'd bet that you'd get a lot of backing on that, but probably not any more pay. :D
     
  6. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Just curious, if you go the online route, which is a good idea, do you have a refer in your section directing people online, at least at first?
     
  7. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    Yes, but not just at first. Always.
     
  8. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Both the online and the paper should be selling each other. The paper should refer the online and vice versa.
     
  9. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    The online idea is great. To add to that: 1) Definitely refer to online from the paper and vice versa, and 2) if you consistently have a plethora of online stuff, you can make make the refers to them a standing feature in the paper. Dress it up a bit so that they are more than just a couple lines of text at the end of a roundup.
     
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Oh boy. Now I think I do have that problem. I've got a lot of people now who are writing for me because they need clips for class. Then again, that's a good thing, especially for someone who has limited paid help.
     
  11. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Screen shots of stories posted on the web will count (or should count) just as much as print if they're doing this for college credit. But, yeah, make 'em compete for their place in print. It will drive up the quality of your product.
     
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I have every intention of doing that. Actually, my plan is that if someone writes something that's unpublishable, I just won't publish it and then I'll let him or her know why it was unpublishable. That will let 'em know not to take getting clips for granted and hopefully give 'em the incentive to turn in the best copy possible.

    I also am lucky in that a number of the interns I get have been really, really good. One actually was a full-time reporter at a daily for four years and happened to be going back for a graduate degree in journalism.
     
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