J-school

J2150 bloggin: Getting Cut

Before I say anything else, I want to point out the number six (6). As in six days until I leave for Nashville to cover the Southeastern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament! I am so excited!

Now, on to the writing of the week.

I had a really good week of writing. On Saturday, I threw some quotes together after Missouri beat LSU at Mizzou Arena. My co-writer had the story and I was bored with nothing to do, so I threw together a quickie quote blog, which I felt really good about.

On Monday, I went to media day in search of a 700-word feature I could throw together later that night, but while I was doing interviews, I kept getting great quotes and information from the players I was interviewing.

I wanted to write about senior night and how the Senior Class felt about playing their last game in Columbia. What’s interesting about this Senior Class is that of the three seniors, only one, Laurence Bowers, has played their entire career here. Alex Oriakhi and Keion Bell each only played one season for Mizzou after transferring from Connecticut and Pepperdine.

I did a lot of talking with Alex and Keion and got some great information. I asked my editor to stretch my word count from 700 to 900 words. Then I started writing and I made the turn for home at 1,000 words. I ended at 1,400.

It was a great story and I was so proud of it, but I had to cut it down to 1,000 words once I got to the office. That was no easy task. I felt like we got rid of so many great quotes and details. Every word I lost was like a small pin-prick to the arm.

Finally we got it downs and I was excited to see it in the paper the next day, until I saw the infographic that was posted with the story (that I made) was tweaked by copy and production and printed with factual errors. All they had to do was cut and paste. I thought I made it so easy for them. I told them what to do, how it should look, asked if I could answer any questions, yet they still found a way to reject any aid I offered and screw things up.

Tuesday, I wrote a game story on Missouri’s trouncing of Arkansas that came out well. I wish I had written part of it during the game, though. I always hit my deadlines (2 hours after the end of the game), but I know that for the future, I need to have something done before I go into the press conference. I’m going to see if I can accomplish that while I’m in Nashville.

That’s all for now. For multimedia this week, I have my new favorite YouTube video: Shaq’s revenge on Aaron Carter.

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