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For Coaches Fact Sourcing....

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emacmommy

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Here's the true topic... How should I proceed with newspaper's refusal to report any of our State Championship results... if you have any good ideas post me at this thread in the Parent Forum http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/parent-forum/16020-advice-political-correctness-needed.html

Now, for this Thread I would like help find some professional/industry facts. Now keep in mind I probably can guesstimate on much of this as a professional, and search the web too, but I would like to submit fact sources, as I am battling a darn newspaper's opinion/bias:

Average Hrs Practiced for 6-8 age grp, 9-11, 12-15, 16+ (not level specific)
Ave $ dumped into our sport
Facts on benefits of gymnastics
Odds of a club gymnast achieving college scholarship
Odds of a HS gymnast achieving college scholarship
Odds of other HS sports recieving scholarships...
Odds of National Team Assignment by either.. :rolleyes:
Inspirational stories on club gymnastics (rec, team, other, doesn't matter)

Anything else I can use as ammunition against an uneducated and biased newspaper to help them find the importance of reporting on at least one of the most important meet (State) to many of the young gymnasts out there.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
It sounds like there is a deeper issue than bias here... I think if you solve the problem leading up to this juncture you will find more success than trying to throw facts at someone who can simply ignore them anyway.

If you true intentions are to spread the awareness of gymnastics and its impact on gymnasts and people in your state, then I suggest you try and patch up the loose ends first.

Sometimes, we have to take an ego hit to reach our ultimate goal. Many times, being a coach, and almost certainly being a parent, means taking on a thankless job, with recognition among a select few that are aware of the situation.

If Im way off base, then Im sorry. But it sounds like youre taking on a lot of work for something that can be easily fixed diplomatically.

Best wishes,

Ryan
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
For some reason I can't write a long reply without getting an error, but I'll reply later.
 
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emacmommy

Guest
Not sure if you read the Thread in the Parent Forum. RyanTroop, are you saying the loose ends are the fact that the sports editor/editorial reporter can simply choose to ignore me? Very true, which is why I plan on talking to the publisher/editor and get a better explaination of their view. Admittedly by the paper, he said there is limited space... I understand that, but I question their decision as to what readers want to read, hence what they are putting is as sports stories. In reality I don't really care where in the paper the results go, as long as they make an attempt to recognize them in the paper. What truly bugs, and was a bitter pill to swallow, was the reporters bluntness and basically coming across to me that in his opinion these girls' efforts (and soon to be boys team too) don't matter. Knowing what these girls do, in comparison to many sports around her, it just rubs the wrong way.

Enough said. I need to fix that and try and come in line with the views of the paper. I'm truly looking for common ground. I beleive part of that is just a lack of education on behalf of the sports writer.
 

JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
5,933
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We used to send the newspaper all of our results, then they stopped printing them. We were not taking the time to send them real stories. Now we do send them real stories. Below are some things that we send:

  • We only send "Top 3" results...1st, 2nd, 3rd or we don't even send it in.
  • If possible, we tie the whole team and competition together into a story..."Flippers Gymnastics Sweeps at the Diamond Classic".
  • We send photos.
  • If submitting an individual result (ie. Local Girl Wins State Title in Gymnastics), we add in all of their community involvement. Does this gymnast do any volunteer charity or church work, do they have a high GPA, do their parents own the local coffee shop, ANYTHING. Why else besides gymnastics is this child so special.
  • Occasionally (twice a year) submit stories to the paper that have nothing to do with results. Run a fitness day at the gym and ask the newspaper if they would be willing to cover it from the "Fight Against Child Obesity" angle.
Newspapers want stories and they don't want to have to do a lot of work to get them. Give them a good story and they will publish it.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I understand where youre coming from now.

However, I still think a better way to get what you want is a little more on the political track.

Forget about all that stuff.. really.. get a petition going, and put the readers in the hands of the editor. Create awareness among other parents who are part of your area, and let them see that this paper is snubbing their children.

If having a hundred or so of his readers show disapproval for their unwillingness to post results doesnt get him thinking differently, then you can go ahead and push even further.

It all comes down to their pocket book, and the people who buy their paper. The other end of it is if gymnastics does get a spot, who loses theirs?

So, in that regard, you may want to come up with a compromise. Maybe report Bi or Tri weekly, shared with another sport that shares the same area.

Appeal to the press - it's all about free speech. If this paper doesnt want to report on gymnastics, go ahead and make a stink to a bigger paper and see if they will publish the story about it, or even publish the results instead.

There are many options...


Good luck!


Ryan
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I have to break this post up not to get an error.

I can’t reply in the parent’s forum. Here are my thoughts on general media issues though:

I know it can be time consuming to deal with publicity, only to hit brick walls. But I think we need to keep in mind that generally they get a lot of requests and it’s not just us. Here’s my experience from two journalist parents and doing publicity for our large invite:

-Many larger papers pretty explicitly cover only high school, NCAA, and pro sports as a general rule in the sports section. I realize this was a smaller paper, but since the thread is touching on general concerns and media trends, I figure I'd address it. This has not a lot to do with time and dedication. It has to do with what people want to read about all sports and school sports generate significant interest (as well as generally have established contacts). There's a large "team" aspect so that is important.

The articles you see about soccer in bigger papers will 9/10 be about professional, NCAA, or high school soccer, but there are some extremely competitive youth travel teams. And you don't see as much as you could about the equivalent of L4 soccer either, because it would be overwhelming. Usually the main papers will cover youth sports in extreme circumstances, for example a local softball team here (knew a girl on it) made it to LL World championship finals, and that got some press attention. Some of the elite or even successful high level gymnasts in the DC area have been covered in the Washington Post but it's the exception and not the rule because if every dedicated, intermediate level sport was covered for a relatively large metro area, it would take over the paper.

-more local papers usually your best bet, but sometimes the submission guidelines are unclear or they have less polished PR guidelines when dealing with calls, requests, etc. These will usually publish results and photos provided they are in a clear format and all the people photographed are identified. If one rejects it, I would just try them all. Especially if you can get a relationship with someone there.

 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I'm getting errors again but I will post more later, I have the reply saved in Word.
 
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