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Your favorite beat and why?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Canyonero!, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Canyonero!

    Canyonero! Member

    Good stuff! It's cool to see such a diversity in answers.

    I'm a definite newbie so I haven't had many beats. I covered one NCAA basketball tournament opening weekend and while it wasn't a beat, it was just surreal. The best single experience I've had. I do preps now and I'm really loving football. Good kids, unbelievable access. Just a lot of fun.
  2. cubman

    cubman Member

    No. 1, no doubt. As an earlier poster said, it's all right to do those jobs from a small paper, but not all the same time. It's jumping back and forth from one mindset to the other, usually more than once. We've all been there and I think most of us would agree that it sucks.
  3. JME

    JME Member

    Yeah, that's not really a contest.
  4. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    In my 15 years...

    1. High school football, which is especially the case in PA.

    2. Mid-major DI hoops. I actually covered a program that reached the Final Four...seven years after I left the beat. :'(

    3. Minor league baseball. I covered a high-A team and went up against a major metro on the beat, which kept me on my toes. Produced some of my best copy and I think the competition helped make me a better reporter. Players, especially some of the blue chippers, weren't spoiled by the show and gave me some great stuff. Plus the MLB organization affiliated with the team was very good to deal with. Got to do some travel, too.
  5. Pocket Aces

    Pocket Aces Guest

    I'd say college football under a reasonable head coach.

    Since that doesn't exist, college basketball.
  6. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Major college football should be the best beat. SHOULD be.

    The passion is unmatched (except, perhaps, by the NCAA Tournament in basketball). The players are young adults just coming into their own - remember yourself in college?

    The travel is limited enough so that you can have a life outside the office.

    Yeah, recruiting is a bitch, but most big papers don't sweat it too much, and a lot of college town papers have a second guy on the beat that focuses on recruiting so the main beat guy doesn't have to.

    Most of the work is done during the day. So you can cover the beat and coach Little League, as well.

    Fans read and dissect every word you write. You will have the most hits on your paper's Web site every day you write.

    The problem is the coaches. They turn everyone into nothing more than stenographers. Access is absurd in college football. One-on-ones are virtually nonexistent. A lot of coaches only want you to talk to their superstars and "captains."

    Sure, there are ways around things and you can do good work by talking to high school coaches, parents and so forth. There's enterprise to be done. College football, with its paranoid control freaks in charge, forces you to really dig into the reporter's bag of tricks.

    But just once, it would be nice to be able to develop real relationships with the people you directly cover. They system is, for the most part, set up to prevent that. It can be extremely frustrating if you want to perform real journalism and not just talk to everyone in a sterile auditorium on "offense night" or "defense night" with 10-15 other "reporters" (I use the term loosely when it comes to some of these clowns) gathered around.
  7. Pocket Aces

    Pocket Aces Guest

    Here, fucking here.
  8. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    85 bears, ezal... trust me, i totally understand what you're saying

    should make me kiss the ground that i have a div.-i, bcs football head coach that is accessable, reasonable and (relatively) non-paranoid. i really wish people in my market gave a shit about college football. hell, my editor doesn't want me writing as much football as i do. i barely treat it like a real beat, 'cause, well, no one gives a shit

    it's too bad... i really like the coach. he's an actual good guy.
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