Press problems pose a sports-desk time crunch
Winter sports season is in full swing, and nobody is more excited about it than us here at the Post Independent.
Last week we got our first taste of the basketball and wrestling teams and, I have to admit, there are many talented teams this season. Things should be just as fun when we get to see swimming, hockey and all the out of the usual realm of prep sports at Colorado Rocky Mountain School.Winter sports season is always a little crazy with 10 basketball teams, four wrestling teams, a swim team, a hockey team, ski teams, a climbing team and community events filling up the schedule.Right now, however, it is crazier than normal due to early deadlines and press problems we are having at the Post Independent. We are currently under a 9:55 p.m. deadline and that is when the paper has to be laid out, edited and sent to the press. This creates a serious problem for us sports writers and the copy editors.Most girls basketball games start at 5:30 or 6 p.m., with boys following at 7 or 7:30 p.m. And that is, of course, if things are running on time. With junior varsity games beforehand, that is not often the case.That means Jeff and I have to have stories written up and sent by 9:30 p.m. at the latest, giving our copy editors 20 minutes to edit and put our stories on the page. That’s the equivalent of getting in and out of the post office during the holiday rush in five minutes.
Sometimes games aren’t even over by 9:30 p.m., for crying out loud. All of this is on top of the fact that we are adjusting to our redesign, which is taking time to learn and get used to.The early deadline forces us to start writing during the game, and depending what time it is over, we may not be able to get quotes and we just have enough time to include the bare essentials. If all of that falls in place, we also have to have help from athletic directors and school administration members to use the schools’ Internet to e-mail our stories in from there. So far, we have gotten that help, and it is extremely appreciated, and we ask for schools’ continued support.When things are running behind or for longer games, sometimes we won’t be able to add up stats and sometimes we won’t be able to get stories in the paper at all.When we can’t get stories or scores in our paper, we will do our best to get it on our Web site at http://www.postindependent.com. With lack of space and so many teams to cover, we won’t be able to run stories a day late.
This will also impact our national sports coverage as late games, pretty much the ones that start at 7 p.m. or later, won’t make it to print. Avalanche and Nuggets games frequently start late, college football games and Sunday, Monday and now Thursday night NFL games often run past our deadline. The situation is completely out of our hands, and we ask that our readers be patient. Trust me, we don’t like this any more than you do. It makes it very hard to work. We don’t have time to write what we want to as sports journalists, and it makes every night extremely stressful.I guarantee you that Jeff and I, as well as our copy editors, are trying our best and will work as super-humanly fast as possible to get as much information in the paper each day during this difficult deadline period. It is only supposed to be temporary, but we have no idea how long it will last. Contact Joelle Milholm: email@example.com
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