By Adia Randall
ATLANTA — News is always breaking and journalist have to stay ready for days where they are writing about something they never expected, but there are also days when it’s tough to find anything to write about at all.
Though it may be difficult, content cannot stop.
“We have to feed the beast,” Phil Kaplan, sports editor Knoxville News Sentinel, said. “We have demands all the time. You always have to have content out there. In this digital world, it’s important to always have something.”
Kaplan and Todd Adams, APSE first vice president, shared tips during the “Fast And Easy Ways To Generate Content On Slow News Days” workshop at the APSE Summer Convention on Monday.
Kaplan described how stories like “How to watch” (that tells fans where they can watch games), live updates and scores, team schedules and game predictions are quick stories that will get hits from fans before and during the games.
Another story idea Kaplan suggested that is quick and tends to do well online is a “Twitter reaction” story. The story would simply concentrate on how Twitter has reacted to the game. The reporter does not have to travel to the game and can just embed the tweets, write a few paragraphs and the story is done.
If there is a player who makes a big play in a game, Kaplan says to write a couple of sentences about the player with a picture and put it online. Many people watching that game are probably trying to figure who that player is and want more information.
“Listen to everyone,” Adams said. “If they ask a question, more than likely somebody else has that question”
Adams gave advice to those who have been faced with limited access to a player or coach. He called this tip “Gather a bunch at once.” Reporters should go into an interview with a plan to ask questions that can generate multiple stories.
During open discussion, Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor Gary Potosky offered advice on how writers can find stories when they’re struggling.
“Football, basketball and recruiting are 12 months a year,” Potosky said “If you can find a story in those three it will lower the amount of ‘slow days’ you have.”