Monday, February 11, 2013

Strong news and sports effort over the weekend

The Orion news, sports, Web and video staffs made another outstanding effort this weekend.

The webcast Monday morning was getting close to what I consider the ideal: a vo/sot (voice over-sound on tape) piece of President Zingg's speech Friday afternoon, followed by Allison Week's weather standup, a reader about the recent stabbings and a roundup of weekend sports action.

Pedro Quintana, who must carry a police scanner in his pocket, did a wonderful job of covering the fight and stabbing downtown early Sunday morning, including a dramatic photo of cop cars swarming the scene. He was all over Twitter as the news broke.

Emily Duran did a nice job of putting together a couple of baseball stories and Brett Appley and Jake Martin filed solid stories from the men's and women's away basketball games, getting their reports on the Web hours after the final buzzer in both games.

And the Web team did a great job of getting everything online in a hurry and of promoting the breaking stories and an upcoming sports feature on Facebook and Instagram.

Here's what could have been better:

• The videographers seem to be having problems with getting enough light indoors. The Zingg video was the second time in a week a story was all but blacked out. I know technology sometimes throws a curve, but a better choice in this case would have been to find a still photo of the president, superimpose his sound bite and have the anchor read it. Another alternative would have been to use the audio with a screen capture of Zingg, again with the quote superimposed over a still photo.

• Lighting was a problem with Allison's weather report as well. Find a spot with whiter light if you have to shoot outside after twilight. If you're having problems with cameras, let's get it fixed.

• Using a description as a noun in sports stories is starting to become my biggest pet peeve. Instead of "Baseball swept all four of its games this weekend..." use, instead:
"The Wildcats baseball team..."
"The Chico State baseball team..."
"The baseball team..."
"The baseball squad..." 
Same strategy with men's basketball (the men's basketball team), women's basketball and rugby.

• Sports stories should not be accompanied by file photos of last year's team when reporting a home game. Staff photographers should be shooting home games. If they can't, reporters need to use their smartphones or be assigned a digital camera. I appreciate the effort to get some sort of art to accompany the stories (and your app audience thanks you, too!), but visuals from the game are an essential part of sports coverage. Photo staff: It's time to step up!

See the note below. Thanks for the cx!

1 comment:

  1. A quick note on the last item, none of the games were at home this weekend.