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Would you use this emailed quote?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    This from an AP story on Wizards shooting coach Dave Hopla...

    I started a thread several months ago about how to handle a seemingly flippant response to a serious question, especially when you don't have the opportunity to get a clarification, and here's another example.

  2. That one's awful tough to be left standing alone.

    As far as e-mail quotes, in my opinion, it should happen rarely and only in desperation. My fingers can hardly type the words: "said in an e-mail."
  3. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Mark Cuban, for the most part, only talks via email. So NBA writers sometimes are left with no choice.

    One thing that would make a big difference to me: Do the Mavs employ a shooting coach? If yes, then it's obvious Cubes is being flippant. If they are the only one of the top 8 Western Conference teams not to use a shooting coach, well, that ought to tell you something too.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Isn't that how Cuban does business, though?

    I have no problem with it, other than the "we" threw me a bit.

    However, I think the setup to the quote should make it clear whether the Mavericks use one or not, so they can understand the quote correctly.
  5. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Yup. Bingo.
  6. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Except that's pretty much the only way to communicate with Cuban in a non-group setting.
  7. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I re-read the story and it said about three grafs earlier that the Mavs have a free-throw shooting coach.

    I suppose that makes it clear, but the comment after the quote is probably what threw me. I guess I'd like to see it the fact that the Mavs have a shooting coach right there with the quote, so there's no doubt.
  8. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Well, the problem is the clumsy setup of the quote, not the use of an e-mail quote per se. It's really not that complicated.
  9. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    The only reason the email part played into it is that you can't judge a tone of voice and sometimes your follow-up may not be answered.
  10. But isn't it clear already if it was stated only three grafs earlier?
  11. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    First, I'm sure there are other readers are stupid as me who might not have made that connection from three grafs earlier, which was further confused by the line after the quote. If the quote was obviously sarcastic, then what's with the question mark and the "Hmmmmm."?

    I wasn't editing this story or anything. I was just casually reading it my morning paper like everyone else.

    I guess the big-picture issue is whether flippant or sarastic quotes like this muddle the story more than they provide clarity for the reader, especially the ones that are not so off the wall as to be obvious attempts at humor ("We're going to ask the NCAA if we can put six players on the floor when we play Kansas." That sort of thing.)
  12. I hope you have a hard time typing those words, because it should be "wrote in an e-mail."

    I'm not a big fan of e-mailed quotes, either, but that's just the way it's going to be, and we'd better get used to it. From what I've been told, Cuban will respond only to e-mails -- but to almost any reporter's e-mail. I'd rather have an e-mailed quote from him than none at all.

    I read an NYT story recently that had text-message "quotes" in it from the hot-shit quarterback from Aliquippa, Pa. (Terrelle Pryor?) about whether Ohio State losing to LSU would affect his college decision. It probably would have been better if the reporter would have actually spoken to him, but he got the piece of news he was looking for.

    The one thing that makes me queasy is submitting e-mailed questions through a PR person to a source. I had to do that once after I ran out of every alternative, and I got the feeling that those quotes were massaged, or even made up, by the PR person, like the famous "statements" released through a team.
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