Monday, April 13, 2015

Two day old stories in The N&O are okay, just not box scores

On the way to Chapel Hill, after picking up my brother-in-law the avid fan of the Diamond Heels, to see game three of the NC State-North Carolina baseball series, the discussion turned to the previous night’s win by North Carolina, a 3-2 nail biter that ended in the 10th inning when a Wolfpack pitcher walked three straight and then put the next batter on base when the pitch slammed into the batter’s shoulder, breaking a tie-game and driving in the winning run. In baseball parlance, it was a walk-off HBP.

Is there only one edition of The News & Observer, my BIL asked, sort of knowing the answer that his paper and my paper are probably run at the same time or at least with the same news? In neither the paper in my driveway nor the one at in his newspaper box at the start of his rural development’s entrance road about half a mile from his house was there any mention of Saturday's game except for the score, in the agate page. Dick Herbert was right. There’s more information there than in the written stories or lack thereof.

The Saturday game ended about 9:30 pm, an hour earlier than the Friday night version between State and Carolina. The Saturday paper covering Friday’s game had a full-length report with a doubleheader headline on the front of the Sports Section. Game one of the series was fully covered, but after Saturday’s game, the newspaper failed to include anything other than the score, not even one line in a college sports roundup, driving the interested fans to the websites of the two schools with little in-depth coverage and most of it bias, of course.

Sunday’s game, which included a 2 p.m. first pitch was won by State, 6-3, ended around 5:20 p.m., time enough for the newspaper to give it a standard statistical-type report by a reporter who knows not how to flavor game action with words. He might as well have written his article from a play-by-play with some quotes supplied by the media departments of the two schools. Or maybe he watched it on ESPN3 and compiled the report from that which is what WRAL-TV did for its reporting, not sending a cameraman reporter to the game. In addition to the Monday report about the Sunday game there was a short story about the Saturday game. The latter was from "news reports," a nice way of saying the newspaper didn't think the game was important enough to cover with a staff writer or a stringer.

There’s bias here wanting more coverage of games such as State-Carolina baseball, no matter the outcome. With the majority of the sports subscribers of the newspaper clearly in the Wolfpack and Tar Heels camps, it seems the newspaper—and the television station, for that matter—could make a better effort to service its customers in more ways than tossing a bundle of ads on the driveway.
-------------------- word of the day
derring-do (noun) [der-ing-doo]: daring deeds; heroic daring

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