A lesson for sports reporters

  • Oct. 16, 2013 3:22 p.m.

What is the best way for a reporter to make his or her job much tougher than it should be?

Well, a reporter in Vancouver found out the answer to that question when he published a story on an issue which was so far from being a story it would have been a very expensive cab ride to get anywhere near to being a story.

While interviewing a San Jose Shark player this reporter, and others, heard Joe Thornton make a comment about a young rookie on his team who scored for goals in a game.

Joe announced how he would celebrate and while 99.9% of the room laughed or maybe cringed a bit, this one reporter thought he had the scoop of the year and proceeded to write a story about it.

The quote was gained during a scrum with another player and so all which had been said by others was off the record. A point which was missed completely by this reporter.

He claims to scribble out edgy pieces of editorial and was all over this like cling wrap on Thanksgiving leftovers.

This was not only not edgy, it was a complete waste of space in the paper which published it .

If you talk with any reporter you will find out just how many times a similar instance has happened in a sports team locker room and a story has not been published about the incident. This stuff happens all the time and goes unpublished as many times as the manuscripts Snoopy of Peanuts fame submits to editors.

The reporter defended his actions by assuming all the others would write about it and he didn’t want to be left out.

Well, there’s a good chance the next time he goes into the dressing room for an interview he might find himself left out or at least getting quotes as stale as week old bread.

When you burn a source by quoting them off the record the blaze will burn bright for quite awhile.

All this man had to do was usher Mr. Thornton off to the corner of the room and ask him to repeat his thoughts on a four goal celebration but this time on the record.

Then he has his story and it was gained in a simple and straightforward manner.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

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