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"You never cover us"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by goalmouth, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    It gets read. I’m told the Boston Herald’s HS football power ratings page gets more hits than the paper’s NHL and NBA coverage.
  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    Try growing up in Wayne County. And covering some sports there in addition to a couple of other regions Down East.

    The private schools were typically terrible ... and the description was, verbatim, what you've already said. One exception was a boys' basketball team where the coach, a realtor by day, found some kids from overseas who were skilled on the floor and smart off of it.

    Coach was a great guy ... would always call in his stuff, didn't bellyache, moan and gripe that we weren't there at least twice a week (the other person I worked with - a shameless, clueless sort - thought we should be there more often ... never mind that the city high school has a rich basketball tradition - both boys and girls - and there was more than enough talent to go around). The kids the coach brought in were straight "A" students, took full advantage of the "education" offered and played a really good brand of ball. It wasn't national prep factory sort of stuff, but clearly at least three or four notches better than bad private-school ball that is painful to watch. That coach was not trying to be anything more athletically ... seemed completely content with his day job paid the bills.

    His successor - after the self-styled power brokers within the school drove off the good coach - was power-hungry and was thisclose to getting busted for recruiting. A blind sort could see his shameless self-promotion, never mind at least one of his assistants, who was a PITA and thought we owed him a story telling the community what a wonderful, altruistic sort he really was. Just ask him.

    The funny part? The high school I attended had a bad drug reputation. The school I described above was much worse ... for obvious reasons. Lots more disposable income. Not to mention how sheltered those kids were ... all the supposed college preparation that school tried to claim it could do for kids was doing the opposite. Those parents aren't paying off college professors to manipulate the syllabus and general curriculum.
    Keystone, Liut and maumann like this.
  3. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    My high school freshman daughter is in the band, thus I go to high school football games now. In the section where we sit, almost nobody is watching the game. There's a group of parents who sit a couple of rows away who talk throughout the game...constantly. They never watch what's going on on the field. If we sit with friends, we do the same thing. I brought a book to one game to relieve the boredom. It's true that a whole bunch of people at the game don't really care about the game.
  4. rtse11

    rtse11 Active Member

    Correct, for our website.
  5. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    I mean, if this doesn't just prove the point of all this, I don't know what would. Even the people at the games don't care!

    Even 20 years ago, before the newspaper collapse and rise of the internet and all that, I had a sports editor that made us put attendance numbers in boxes for whatever we covered -- soccer, volleyball, basketball, whatever. The reason, because when people complained he could go, look, there were only 150 people at the last game we covered and something the same night had 3,000. I mean, a little petty, but I get it.
  6. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    How’d you come to what attendance to print? Guess-timate? AD ticket sales? (we’ve had numerous instances where those two numbers are off by hundreds)
  7. daytonadan1983

    daytonadan1983 Active Member

    Hell, these days I'd be happy if the local shops just run what I send 'em on a consistent basis.
    BurnsWhenIPee likes this.
  8. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    It was usually counting. At a soccer game or baseball game not that hard usually. At a football or basketball game had to ask for more help. It obviously wasn't completely accurate and I'm sure people could still argue the numbers but it must have worked in some way. And this sports editor was insistent on these numbers. It was almost the most important thing in the box.
    JimmyHoward33 likes this.
  9. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I never ask for an exact count but I do want to know if there was a big crowd when one of my stringers covers a game. It’s hardly scientific but gives me an idea of the level of interest.
  10. ChadFelter

    ChadFelter New Member

    Part of the reason that HS sports don't get high page view numbers is that the small group of people who care passionately about their teams already know what happened - they're at the game or following via social media. They don't need to wait around for newspaper stories to tell them. News organizations need to evolve and find ways to give these people something worth reading, rather than clinging to the old way of doing things and refusing to change.
  11. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Active Member

    We had a junior college keep complaining to us that they get great attendance at their games, but we never wrote much about them or even covered them. So the SE sent me to their next game with the goal of counting the crowd. It was easy, there were fewer than 100 people there and that included the two high school teams that played a preliminary game and stuck around for part of the JUCO game.

    Then we had the prep wrestling coach complain that a match a day or so ago had 2,000 people there (in a gym that barely seated 1,000). I saw the AD a few days later and mentioned the coach said they had a heck of a crowd. He asked me what the guy told me and when I said 2,000, he went nuts. Between curses, he said they didn't have 200 there.
    PaperClip529 likes this.
  12. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I get that all the time. It’s always exaggerations. We have to see it for ourselves. I’m glad they want the coverage but the expectations are of course unrealistic.
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