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Youth sports

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    The word limit we have for youth sports copy is 250 words per game. This week, I had a really small section and still had to trim a lot from a youth football file, even though everything was within the 250-word-per-story limit.
    The youth football people didn't like that.
    If they are keeping everything within the required limits, do I have an obligation to make sure I have adequate room to publish everything without cutting?
    By the way, maybe I'm getting a little too big a head for my job, but I'm getting a little sick of the most important things I do being publishing youth copy and local sports briefs (in other words, free advertising).
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member


    Make no promises about what gets in the paper. Space is not under your control.

    Always, always, always use a "space permitting" policy on these matters. (And, if necessary, a "first-come, first-served" policy.)
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    The word limit is a maximum, not a minimum.
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    On local sports announcements, I'd be specific about which groups get in and which don't. I don't have a problem running announcements for nonprofit groups and especially youth-oriented group (Little League, Pop Warner, NJB, ect.), or city/county rec programs, but someone who is giving karate lessons or runs a cheerleading academy in his/her backyard gym needs to have a chat with one of you friendly ad reps. Also define your turf, for example, within a 25-mile radius from the primary city you serve. Makes it easier for me to toss faxes and emails from travel ball clubs or slow pitch tournaments 2 or 3 cities away trolling for players or entries.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    A) It's your section. Handle it how you want.
    B) Say you have space and you give one team 300 words. The next week, you don't have space. But that doesn't matter to team B. Team A got it's 300 words and you're playing favorites. 250 words and stick with it.
  6. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    At one time, I would have thought parents had better things to do than count how many words of write-up their future all-star's youth team received in the local newspaper.

    But then I got into the business 16 years ago ... :(

    Small-Taters, stick with the 250 word limit and if one team's write up didn't fit this week, run it next week. Or try to jam in a second day of youth sports roundup into your section.

    At my shop, we like to run the reminder that youth sports write-ups (and especially team photos) run on a SPACE AVAILABLE basis, so "please be patient." Not that our disclaimer prevents people from calling, unfortunately ...
  7. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I think their argument is 1). They're doing their part by keeping these articles short enough so it's up to me to make sure I'm able to accomodate them.
    2). With the right to edit comes the responsibility to edit competently.
    Still, I don't understand why there should be any debates with these people about how their copy is edited.
  8. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    There should not be. Don't let there be.

    But, in my opinion, especially at smaller and weekly papers, youth sports and announcements aree far from advertising. They are part of what your readers want.
  9. It is your newspaper. It is your job to edit stories to fit the space. So do it. Some weeks that might mean trimming stories to 100-150 words. Some weeks it might mean 250 words get in. Some weeks somebody might get left out (never a good option; try to give everyone the same space). Then you can't be accused of playing favorites. I would advise saving them for a week -- you'll never get caught up.
  10. redsox99

    redsox99 Member

    Could you run the entire submission on the web with a tagline on the print version that says something to the effect that more information on this game can be found on your web site? We do this a lot when we have to chop stories. That way the story is there in its entirety and the parents could still print off the story from the web for Little Peyton's scrapbook so that when the college recruiters come to visit, they can show him all the clippings.
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    "We will get it in the paper, but there's no guarantee when or how much space it will be given."

    I would also take others' advice to use the Web site and take advantage of the unlimited space there.
  12. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    It's been my experience that with this sort of thing, putting it on the Web site isn't really a satisfactory solution to these people.
    When somebody goes out and buys 10 copies of the paper for all their friends and relatives, expecting their kid's name or photo to be in the paper and it isn't, telling them it's on the Web site just doesn't cut it.
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