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"You can't do that here"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BRoth, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    Aside from all the wonderful stories that line may suggest, here's a good one from today.

    Was out and about doing a man-on-the-street Q and A when I stopped in a local mom and pop coffee shop. There were a couple people hanging out at a table and I thought I would see if they wanted to take part.

    I ask them, they give the OK and I start talking to them when the owner comes up to me and says "You can't do that here."

    I reply: "I just wanted to do a Q and A for the local paper, I'll be gone in less than a minute."

    Answer: "You can't do that here."

    Reply: "I'm just trying to do my job and they said they'd be OK."

    Answer: "You can't do that here."

    So I took the answers and left.

    The small town I cover is generally full of alright people ... rich, but alright. I was a little pissed off about it, but wanted to see if others had similar experiences when trying to do their reporting duties.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Some corporate types are anal about not allowing media in to talk to customers or staff. Wouldn't think that at a mom and pop coffee shop.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I've got $20 that says mom and pop aren't even a mom and pop. They probably just want your shoes.
  4. BRoth,
    Before we send anyone to do a "man on the street," the reporter has to call the owner or manger of an establishment to get permission to avoid that type of situation.
    It happened years ago - hence the rule.
    Remember, you are on private property so they have every right to ask you to leave.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    A former photog I worked with ran into that. He was always taking feature photos of kids on playgrounds, etc. and was well-known for it. But there was one family that would never, ever allow their kids' names to be used in the paper. They were always out in public, so it wasn't like they were hiding the kids, just wouldn't give their names. We figured they were in the witness protection program.
  6. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Yeah, It's Man on the Street for a reason. Streets are public places and fair game. You are soliciting in the Mom and Pop's shop and they could see you as annoying their customers (though the people you talked to were OK with you).
  7. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I understand that they have the right to kick me out, but I guess I was just more upset with the fact that it was a big deal. Maybe I'm naive, but I wouldn't care if someone stopped by a store and sat down for 2 minutes with a customer who didn't care.

    Than again, maybe I'm just too damned polite.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Don't these people know they'd basically be getting free advertising out of this?
  9. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I got thrown out of a Wal-Mart a few years ago when I was doing a story on the PlayStation2.

    Manager: "We need you to leave."

    Me: "Wow... I can't believe I'm getting thrown out of a Wal-Mart."

    Manager: "We're not throwing you out. We're asking you to leave."

    Me: "What happens if I stay here and keep talking to these people?"

    Manager: "We'll call the police."

    Me: "Then I guess you're throwing me out of a Wal-Mart."
  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Here's what I don't get: If you were just a Joe Blow hanging out at Wal-Mart and talking to people about how cool the Playstation 2 is, they wouldn't throw you out. So who cares if you write down what people say?
  11. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    Wal-Mart is notorious for not allowing interviews on their property. Target is pretty bad unless you get in well with their managers, at least for TV.

    We tried to do an interview about how they dealt with all the toy recalls a few months ago and our assignment editor didn't tell the manager at Target what we were talking about. When the reporter called, the manager freaked out. Months later, we went to another store in our DMA and the reporter sweet talked the manager and she talked about it.
  12. PeterGibbons

    PeterGibbons Member

    Anytime we've ever wanted to do anything with Wal-Mart we've had to go through corporate.

    Target, though, for us has always been pretty much the most media freindly chain store I've ever dealt with.
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