Planning coverage is no easy task


In the newspaper business we try and avoid cliches.

But one we often use in the newsroom with regards to the articles we print is “no news is good news.”

In other words, if we don’t hear any feedback we assume we wrote a good article, or at least there were no mistakes.

When we mess up, we hear about it. And I’m fine with that. As managing editor, if there’s a problem with something we print and I get a call or email, I own it.

Most of the time folks are civil. However, every now and then a caller can be “not nice.”

We got one such call Tuesday and normally I would not devote space in the paper to address it. However, since we did nothing wrong, I thought I would reply and explain our process.

The voice mail was for the “sports editor” and came from a member of Xenia City Council. The caller did not identify who they were, but we did a reverse lookup on the phone number and also recognized the voice. I won’t name the person.

“Quite disappointed. Not seeing anything in the Xenia press following the Xenia (the caller stressed that word) football game, away game which they won going away. No coverage on Saturday. No coverage on Tuesday. Coverage of Fairborn not Xenia. That’s pathetic. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

First off, we had a recap of the game — along with other county games — in Tuesday’s paper, a practice that goes back several years.

Yes we covered Fairborn. Anyone who has read the paper with any regularity would know that when it comes to sports, we cover the whole county, and Archbishop Carroll, which has a large number of Greene County students. When it comes to non-sports news, the Gazette has covered the entire county — except for Fairborn which has the Daily Herald — for decades.

It was Fairborn’s home opener with a new coach and a lot of excitement due to the new intermediate school set to open and a new high school on the way.

Covering that game was — as the cliche goes — a no-brainer, especially since Xenia was playing nearly 40 miles away.

But let me dive a little deeper.

We have one sports writer (I help when I can) and nine high schools, seven of which have football teams. While we try to focus on Xenia and Fairborn, we simply can’t ignore the rest of the schools. And we haven’t.

So far this year we have covered Xenia, Fairborn, Beavercreek, and Carroll football. Bellbrook has some big games coming up and we will be out to see Cedarville and Greeneview, especially since the Gazette is the only paper to deliver to those areas.

Every Monday I meet with Steven Wright, our talented sports writer, to talk about coverage for the week. I am laser focused on making sure we cover every sport and every school at least once.

Fall sports include boys and girls golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer, cross country, and football. Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Carroll, Greeneview, Fairborn, and Xenia sponsor all of those sports. Cedarville, Legacy Christian Academy, and Yellow Springs sponsor many but not all.

So you see, there’s a lot to cover.

We have done a great job thus far and have absolutely no reason to “be ashamed.”

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

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