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where are they now stories?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Herbert Anchovy, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    What do we think of this as a hook for readers?

    I just read a simply-wrought Buddy Ryan story about his wife's struggle with Alzheimer's that very much moved me. Is this a staple of newspapers or just something set aside for down time?
  2. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    we did some in our football tab this past year, grabbing one player from each team and updating what they have been up to. they seemed to like it, and it fit with our theme of tradition.

    i think they are liked, when well done and perhaps in reference to something.
  3. OneMoreRead

    OneMoreRead Member

    I like them to an extent. I don't want to read a lot about where they are now unless it's incredibly interesting. A 5- to 10-question Q&A with a couple of "then and now" photos would suffice for me.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I love them.

    In my paper's heyday (I hate that it's now past tense), a "Now & Then" feature was a weekly staple.

    And I especially love Sports Illustrated's annual "Where are they Now?" issue.
  5. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Where are they nows are fascinating if you get the right athlete. If a guy retired to his farm and didn't do much but count sheep...not so much.
  6. MC Sports Guy

    MC Sports Guy Member

    Particularly with prep athletics, I think people are interested to know what people went on to do with their lives, even if it is just retiring to a farm. Obviously some are more intriguing to others, but there's an interest level there.
  7. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I did a series of "Where are they now" stories over the summer. Got together a group of about 15 former stars in the area I wanted to find and went to work. I ended up having six stories over six weeks that was well-received. Ranged from a kid that had graduated high school just a year before (goes to Bigtime Tech, can't cut it academically and has to run home with his tail in between his legs, then gets back to Bigtime Tech) to a guy who had been a star 40 years ago. He played two years in the NFL and as he talked about a legendary coach and how much that man meant to him, he was 'this close' to tears.
    So yeh, it was worth it. They are not groundbreaking, but they are good service pieces.
  8. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I've found "where are they now stories" to always be well received, and whenever I do one, the ad department always seems to pass on that the people they've talked to like it...and then hit me with suggestions.


    Al Lapish, who was a star tailback at Podunk High School, now runs Al's Cleaners on East Main. :D
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, love that issue. When they reprint a team photo and track down the whereabouts of everyone down to the bat boys/clubhouse guys/etc., that's gotta take some serious digging.
  10. http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/SPORTS/612110366/1002

    here's Mike Grant's story on Buddy coping with his wife's condition

    crushing story flawlessly written
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    About 15 years ago, I did a feature on a pretty good high school wrestler and his girlfriend who had a child together.
    Two states and five papers later, I've always wanted to do the follow-up and see what became of the relationship, raising the child....
  12. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    Oh, this is fun. Every season, we take our list of mediocre high school graduates and look up their mediocre stats at their mediocre junior colleges. As long as the names are spelled right, I get no complaints.

    On the rare occasion that I can do a really good piece, there's good stuff to be found. I wrote about what happened to the 1974 Podunk basketball squad, the last to win a state title. Some good stuff.

    But, mostly, shite.
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