Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brag-able pages: Sports p.2

I've acknowledged on this blog earlier the great job The Orion sports section has done making the transition to a digital-first publication. The paper's sports writers and editors figured out early on that readers and fans are best served by a combination of:
• Live tweets from games
• Game stories published on the Web within hours of the final whistle or out
• Longer-form features, columns and analyses published in the newspaper for print readers to enjoy
• Game summaries in the print version of the newspaper.

On those summaries: With most college sports contests happening on weekends, it just made sense to the sports staff to report early and often online instead of waiting as many as five days to feed the fans a game story in print. So, there are no traditional 12-15 inch games stories in Wednesday editions of The Orion.

Instead, the staff produced abbreviated game and match stories for the paper (called "In Case You Missed It") that took the form of capsule summaries in a single story for print -- until this semester. Sports Editor Trevor Platt and his staff decided to make a big change that falls in a category I (just) made up called "brag-able pages."

"In Case You Missed It" is now a collection of summaries under an appropriate title (not headline), usually -- but not always -- the score. Those stories lead the page. They're accompanied by a capsule profile of a player of the week, conference standings, a collection of significant statistics for the week and schedules of upcoming games. It's visually attractive, easy to read, newsy and convenient. In other words, it's the perfect complement to the real-time coverage the sports staff provides online.

I call it "brag-able" because this idea is the sort of thing I point out when I talk about how the paper is making a successful transition to the digital era and how ingenious Orion staffers are when it comes presenting the news on any platform.

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