I guess the adage about time flying when you’re having fun is true because my first month as sports editor here at the Tribune has flown by.
It might be nice if it would slow down a little bit because we’re already into Week 3 of the football season and I’m not ready for the cold and rainy games that usually come with October and November Friday nights.
For now, I’m going to enjoy the pleasant weather we’ve been having so far.
I think one of the hardest thing as prep sports editor or reporter is to find the balance between event coverage, advance stories and feature coverage.
When I was in college, we were always taught how to try and write a game story on a tight deadline because we were told that’s what people wanted to read about the next day.
That’s kind of changed now that everything is on TV, radio, streaming services or however else you can ingest a sporting event. The game recap is kind of pointless nowadays. In-depth reporting or columns on the game are generally what you find more of in newspapers or online.
I still see a lot of value in game stories for high school sporting events, however.
My chief readership, or at least what I’ve always imagined it to be, are parents. Moms and dads who want to see their kid’s name or, even better, their picture in the paper.
Those things serve as mementos they hold onto forever. At least I hope they do.
In the age of social media, my target audience has evolved into getting athletes and students to click on stories I post through Twitter or Facebook just as much as moms and dads.
For the same reasons, kids tend to click on stories to see themselves or their friends in a story.
It’s for that reason I generally gravitate to more game coverage than feature writing. Because I know people want to see it.
I like covering events but the reason I got into this business was to tell fun and interesting stories about the people that participate in sports.
Yet, getting back to that balance thing, it’s hard to manage giving people what I think they want and ultimately what I want to do.
For now, I think I’ve found a happy balance of telling fun and interesting stories while also transcribing how team X beats team Y in game Z.
I don’t want that to sound like I don’t think covering games is fun because I think they are and you can get great stories out of them.
Take the Seymour football team’s season-opening win over South Dearborn.
That was one of the more exciting games I’ve seen in awhile and most of my story was about the last four minutes of the game.
I can also honestly say I rewrote that story three times during the second half. That isn’t very fun because Friday night football deadline writing is akin to writing a 10-page research paper 10 minutes before it’s due.
Still, I wouldn’t trade that rush for any other job.
If you’ve got an interesting story, drop me an email at [email protected].