Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AP to provide 2 stories for each MLB game, one each for winner and loser to help short staffed news outlets--Nieman Lab

March 2011, Neiman Lab: "The Associated Press is adding a new dimension to its baseball coverage this year. After filing the traditional “game-over” story on the national wire, AP reporters will also file “hometown leads” — a.k.a. stories about the losing team — for the
  • local paper that can’t staff an away game.

Terry Taylor, the AP’s sports editor, said editors have been asking for this for at least 15 years. ...What is new: smaller newsrooms and earlier deadlines. “Deadlines have been creeping up and up and up,” Taylor said. “We said, would you be satisfied if you just had a quote from a player or a quote from a manager?” The answer from members was a resounding yes, she said. “They were more concerned with just getting it fast.” Taylor said the hometown story will still be balanced, just framed differently. Readers can expect more clubhouse quotes from their own team, not the other guys.

Say the Red Sox beat the Royals at Fenway. The lede of a traditional AP game story would focus on the Sox. But the hometown version for Kansas City AP clients would put the emphasis on the other dugout: “The Kansas City Royals continued a six-game losing streak last night, falling to the Boston Red Sox 6-2…”

The new offering is aimed directly at newspapers like The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, Ohio, with a newsroom of 30, including part-timers, and a sports staff of five....

  • But: “Don’t ask me about basketball and hockey — I haven’t thought that far ahead,” she said. “That would be tough.”

Here’s the message that went out over the wire to AP clients explaining the new setup:

"Starting with the new season, AP Sports will add another dimension to our baseball coverage. We will now provide optional-style tops featuring the losing team in addition to the regular optional top that focuses on the winning team.

Called hometown leads, the stories will move after the breaking and optional leads have appeared on the wire. The hometown lead will pick up into the material in the breaking lead and will run about 12-13 inches. It will carry a featurized lead and quotes from at least one player and/or the manager. We hope to have it on the wire within 60-75 minutes after the game ends.

To recap: _ NewsNow game lead. _ Writethru with game details. _ Optional lead. _ Hometown lead (losing team optional), picking up into main game story. Slugs for the main stories and optional leads will be the same: BC-BBN—Phillies-Mets.

The hometown lead will be slugged with that team’s name only: BC-BBN—Mets. In other words, this means the Mets lost the game and the regular optional is focused on the Phillies. AP Sports decided to begin providing this service, after discussions with many U.S.-based sports editors, as a way to meet a need for coverage tailored to their local teams.""

3/2011, "AP's new curve ball: Wire service will tell baseball stories two ways to help cost-cutting clients for road games," Nieman Journalism Lab, Andrew Phelps

via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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