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Youth sports (again)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    In one of the towns that I cover, youth basketball is kind of big. This week, between the travel and the in-town programs, I had a total of of 88 inches.
    To the best of my knowledge, I was able to get every team's write-up in the paper this week, though some trims had to be made from each article. I also put all of it on our Web site.
    Sure enough a guy e-mails me and says his article was not in the paper. It wasn't. I thought it was but it wasn't. It was on the Web site.
    The way I want to do things now is to publish the current week's stuff only. I'll put everything on the Web site, but if something has to be left out of the paper for space reasons, it's under the bus in the print edition. I don't want to double up the next week or run stuff a week late because it just creates more problems, especially when the high school winter season gets going and the papers get smaller in January.
    I've let the league people know this, but of course, I'm getting some push-back on it.
    I understand that the nature of youth copy is that people want it in the print edition. They want it for scrapbooks and to buy copies for relatives. If somebody buys 10 copies of the paper expecting their kids' name to be in it and it's not, telling him or her it's online doesn't cut it.
    Still, there's a lot of stuff that I'd like to write that I can't get in the paper sometimes. Sometimes, I have to shortchange high school sports so the youth people can get their pound of flesh. I don't want to do that.
    And yes, I set and enforce word limits, but with dozens of teams playing two or three games a week it adds up.
  2. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Why allow game recaps? It's youth basketball. Can you not just run scores and be done with it?
  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Shortchanging sanctioned high school sports for kiddies playing for nothing strikes me as a terrible gameplan. But it's your shop.

    I'd tell those travel teams to pick up some papers on the road and see what passes for youth sports coverage.
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Because the whole point of publishing youth sports copy is to get names in the paper.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    sp, I ask you this in all honesty:

    You start these threads more regularly than anyone else. Any time you get a complaint, or you can't get something in the paper, new thread. But you never want any suggestions. You just post your opinion, then defend it to the death.

    So...what do you hope to gain from posting this stuff all the time?
  6. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Granted, but if you run agate you're getting names in the paper in less space. That's what my shop does, and we're one of the only papers in my state to run a youth page every Thursday.

    Just get the scoring for both teams and run that.

    And I agree with IJAG.
  7. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of other threads here. Why not read them instead?
  8. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Why are you getting so defensive when all she did was ask a simple question?
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'm not ripping you for starting them. God knows there's plenty of bandwidth. I was just asking what you hope to get out of them. If you just want to vent, that's fine. But it reads like you want advice, and then you just ignore any suggestions.
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Mostly venting, I guess.
    and KY, sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you meant just run a list of final scores. My mistake.
    What you suggested could work, but it's all reader-submitted stuff, written in narrative form. I suppose I could just go through each article, pick out the leading scorers and list them. Not sure how well that might go over, though.
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Then I would tell you the same thing that generally gets said here on most threads: You will NEVER satisfy everyone. Find a system that works for you, and your newspaper, and your bosses...and go with that. Make sure you let it be known that all submissions are subject to editing for content and space. Set up a strict deadline. Like you said, put all old stuff that misses that deadline online only. That will either shape up the submitters or they'll have to learn to print it out at home from the online stories.

    You simply don't, I'm guessing, have enough room to run every submission as is from any time they want to submit it. Your suggestion above makes sense to me. Run old stuff online, and edit the other stuff to fit. They can deal with it.
  12. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Another thing that I've done is very strongly encourage each league to send me all of its copy at once, as opposed to leaving people from each team to send me stuff directly.
    For the most part it works. I tell the league people if they're more comfortable leaving it up to each team, it's OK, but I can't guarantee that everything will be published and if somebody's article isn't, I'm may not know why it isn't.
    Sadly I get the feeling that my shop isn't as much about news as it is scrapbook stuff and free advertising. It frustrates me, but most of the complaints are not about the way I cover things, but rather what submitted stuff doesn't get into the paper.
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