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What would you do in this situation?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TyWebb, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Ran into an interesting situation this week. Scanning the message boards, I see a rumor that there is coach opening at one of our schools. I check a job posting site for teachers and coaches in this state and sure enough, there it is. The job was formerly held by a coach that is very well-established in the community and I have developed a trusting relationship with.

    When I finally get a hold of the coach, he tells me that he's going from boys to girls basketball, but he wants me to hold it until Monday so he can tell his players himself.

    We have to competing papers in that area, but both are weeklies and don't publish until Thursday.

    Do you hold it or do you run it?

    (By the way, we ran it but I talked it over with the coach and he was understanding. He was more pissed at the school for posting the job before he was ready.)
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    If you're not going to be scooped by another paper, hold it. You'll still have to deal with him as girls coach, no?
  3. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Why would you hold it? You got legitimate information and verified it. The coach might have a beef with whomever posted the job opening, but that's not your problem. You don't hold a legitimate story just because the coach told you to.
  4. brettwatson

    brettwatson Active Member

    As usual, 21 nailed this one. Go with it. Always err toward publishing. You can make nice later. But you can never go back and get unscooped.

    And journalists don't sit on news.m Never have, and in the 24/7 internet age, likely never will.
  5. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    It seems I'm in the minority here. Go ahead and run it, I guess.
  6. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    This is the real answer. Your print competition might not hit the stands until Thursday, but there are too many other ways for you to lose your opportunity to break the story. It's already a rumor on the message board. Radio, internet....someone is going to get there before you.
  7. I see both sides, but what it really comes down to is how big a story is it?
    You have to decide if it's worth burning the coach -- who might get over it, or might not.
    If a coach asked me to hold it for a few days so he could tell his players, I'd probably do that unless I thought it was a huge story or I was in a very competitive market.
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    The paper didn't burn the coach, the school did, by posting the job opening. It's already out there, statewide, according to Ty's first post.

    Seems he did the coach a courtesy by giving him a heads-up that the story was running....if coach wants to tell his players, he can pick up the phone and do it.
  9. True, but some coaches won't see it that way. I think you have to know what kind of coach you are dealing with.
    If it gets you cut off from the program, it might not be worth running the story a few days sooner.
    If the coach is a mature adult (and they aren't always), there should be no problem.
  10. derwood

    derwood Active Member

    You have to run it.
  11. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    this shouldn't even be a question

    write it
  12. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    And here are your follow-up questions for the coach:

    Why the move from the boys team to the girls team? Was there a pay raise involved (Because that would be illegal)? Do you think the girls team will see this 'promotion' as a rejection of them?
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