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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Responding to a recent survey

More than 1,000 readers responded to a recent readership survey and there were some suggestions for our paper and some for our sports section specifically.
  • 19 readers want "a bit more attention to proper composition, grammar and spelling. Can't argue with that.
  • 8 readers asked for more NHL coverage. Assuming they're talking about our Red Wings coverage, readers should know we rely on the material provided by The Macomb Daily as per a content-sharing arrangement established when Journal Register Service purchased our Michigan cluster of papers. The Macomb Daily typically staffs each home game, neither paper travels on the road (with the exception of the Lions), and we use content provided by The Associated Press for road contests.
    As for our NHL coverage in general, our page sizes and numbers have been greatly reduced in the past three years, leaving us to run non-essential news on our website,
    Quite often, deadlines come in to play with late games, especially when dealing with Red Wings playoff games. Not only must games finish prior to our deadline, accompanying stories and photos are also needed, which can take as long as an hour to receive. Typically, we refer readers once again to our website.
  • 8 readers wanted more high school sports coverage, saying "Your preps seem biased toward Clarkston and Lake Orion. We've long been fighting the notion we are biased toward certain schools. There are simple needs to be met when deciding to cover a particular school.
    For Clarkston and Lake Orion specifically, they're in one of the top conferences in every sport. Their matchups are typically the some of the best games in the county and they're programs are traditional powers. Quite simply, good teams draw more attention.
    Another big reason for the coverage, we want to serve our higher-read areas. As far as I've been told, these areas include: Clarkston, Waterford, Lake Orion, Pontiac and Rochester.
    Deadlines for a particular night come into play on Saturday nights, that's why you might not see Saturday night events until Sunday's paper, or in the case of a Clarkston football state semifinal, a generic, play-by-play story may be inserted in order to make deadline. Also, as pages sizes have been reduced, so have writing assignments.
    We always offer a full compliment of preps coverage on our sister side,, which often features web exclusive material.
I hope that helped clear some things up. As always, happy reading.


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