How to cover football? Here’s our plan for 2018
Published 6:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2018
By now, our readers are well aware that The Vicksburg Post no longer publishes a Saturday or Monday edition. One of the questions I’ve heard often in the six weeks since that decision was announced has been, “How are you going to cover football?”
It’s a good question, and the answer is, “The same as we always have.”
We’ll still be out covering games Friday night. We’ll still be hammering out stories on deadline, chasing down information for games we couldn’t get to, and working as feverishly as we ever did.
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The one major difference, obviously, is when and how all of that stuff will show up and be presented in the newspaper.
Our plan each Friday is, again, the same as it’s been for 70 years — cover a game, write it up as fast as possible. Only now, we’ll be putting those stories on our web site vicksburgpost.com as fast as possible. Our print deadline when we had a Saturday edition was 12:30 a.m., and we’ll try to stick to that for getting stories online. Some might show up a few minutes earlier or later — this week’s Red Carpet Bowl will likely be later — but they will all be available online late Friday night.
The tricky part is what do we do next?
In recent years it’s been our practice to write a follow-up story that focuses less on the nuts and bolts of the game and more on analysis or an interesting nugget, with updated information as necessary. We’ll continue to publish those stories in the Sunday and Tuesday editions.
Once college football season begins on Sept. 1, you will start to see some differences. Because print space is limited, the Sunday edition will focus on college football with some high school mixed in.
Our local teams are our bread and butter, but we also recognize how important college football is to our readers and want to include as much timely game coverage as we can. We believe this approach will allow us to offer the most bang for the buck. It’s all of the things we used to do, only in a slightly reworked package.
The Vicksburg Post is not the first Mississippi paper to make this adjustment. Papers in Greenville, Natchez, McComb and Hattiesburg also do not publish on Saturday.
We’re changing the way we’ve done things for decades. It’ll be a work in progress as we iron out the wrinkles. In the coming months we’ll examine what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments. Please tell us what you as readers think, and we’ll work through it together.
Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org