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When player of the year stories aren't enough ... award show!

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jack Burton, May 14, 2015.

  1. Jack Burton

    Jack Burton New Member

    Note: Posting under a different name for job safety.

    I finally got a job late last fall, covering high school sports. Again. Efforts to leave the biz failed, so I applied to papers again and took the first thing offered. I'm almost 34 and make less than what I did at 24, and I have to pretend I care about teenagers playing sports.

    Here's the fun part: My paper hosts a high school sports award show in the summer, soon after school is out. I've worked at three papers prior, and I've never done something like this. It's nothing new to the folks I work for. Basically, it's the athlete of the year stories by sport, plus about a dozen other categories. The AOYs are given the usual story/photo treatment at the end of the season, so they know they get a plaque or something. They're all finalists for the overall male/female AOY award.

    Here's the extra fun part: The overall AOYs get a scholarship from the sponsor. It's mostly up to me and the SE to make the picks. Surprisingly enough, the ad side, ME, publisher, and sponsor company CEO have made zero attempt at input on the selections. Not always the case in my previous workplaces, when even a sponsored athlete of the week mini-feature led to clashes with ad sponsors trying to strong-arm picks.


    No, really. It's partially up to me to give away thousands of dollars. More than 20 award categories to choose from, and only two get money. Only one parent has emailed to openly campaing for a kid, and he's not even going to play sports in college.

    The only other thing I know about the show is that I'm not expected to do anything. I'm not a host or emcee or presenter. I just show up in a tie and mingle on the clock.

    Anyone else have to do an actual show in addition to your AOY stories through the season?
  2. Kmac7

    Kmac7 Member

    It sounds like you hate your job and should keep trying to find something else. Like go work at a warehouse or something if it's that bad.
    SFIND likes this.
  3. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    Jack, to me that actually sounds like it could be fun. A nice way to make yourself and the paper look good to the community. I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable with an AOY I helped select being awarded a scholarship, though.
  4. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    That sounds pretty cool. When I was out at APSE Great Plains last month, the Southeast Missourian showed off its award show and it looked fantastic. Seemed like the kids really enjoyed it, too. At least get one under your belt before knocking it.

    About | Semoball Awards

  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    We did an awards show at one of my shops. We created an award for the best football player -- sort of a local Heisman -- and named it after a legendary former local high school coach. We also recognized POTY and other awards in various sports. it was fun. Got a pro player to speak at the dinner. The kids liked it, parents liked it, coaches liked it.

    We didn't give out scholarships, however -- just a watch to the "Heisman" winner and plaques/trophies (as I recall) to the others.

    It didn't last long -- then again, neither did the publication.
  6. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    We've had what we call Select Preps at my shop, only us sports guys have nothing to do with it other than covering the ceremony, for the last four years.
  7. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Jackson (Miss.) has launched one of these, modeled after - I think - a similar event in Chattanooga.
    Behind scenes, it's framed as a significant source of potential revenue for the paper through sponsorships.
    We'll all be doing this kind of thing eventually, I suppose.
  8. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Chattanooga has been doing a big one for years, with some big-time guest speakers (I recall Phelps, Dale Jr., Chipper, Venus & Serena during my 7 years at the TFP).
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Some guy named Drew Brees is speaker for the first Jackson gala.
  10. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith New Member

    Does everyone have to wear aprons at their shops?
  11. LesJ9488

    LesJ9488 Member

    Almost stopped reading after this: "I have to pretend I care about teenagers playing sports."

    If the pay is that bad, surely you can find something you actually enjoy.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    If this is the case, then what's the big deal? You'll be paid for your time there, right? If you don't have to do any event planning, go and enjoy yourself and do some PR for a night and bring the missus if you have one. It won't kill you. Might even generate a few story leads.
    KYSportsWriter likes this.
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