Getting serious about kid’s play
A year ago about this time, I was asked by a reader why The Union sports department decides to devote so much coverage to the Little League All Star tournaments each summer.
The answer seemed – at least to me – obvious:
They’re our kids and we want to read about them.
Little did I know then, though, the degree such coverage was desired. But over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been provided with a crash course in just how serious our readers are about our Little Leaguers.
With the addition of the 11-year-old tournament this summer, there were a total of five District 11, Area 2 All Star tournaments played at five different sites this week.
Adding another tournament absolutely is a positive for the players and parents participating, but also adds to the logistical nightmare of covering our All Stars with a two-person sports staff.
Whether we’re succeeding, though, apparently depends upon who is on the other end of the telephone conversation.
Unfortunately, we didn’t help ourselves in mistakenly reversing the score of Thursday’s Junior All Star game between Nevada City and Penn Valley on Page B1 Friday morning – which explains the correction you’ll find included in our Little League coverage this morning.
I expected the influx of phone calls after spotting the error myself Friday morning. And though I always welcome feedback on our work – positive or negative – I was simply shocked by a couple of calls that insinuated The Union didn’t care enough to get the game’s outcome correct.
The fact that we do devote such time and space to our Little League coverage didn’t seem to amount to much for a few of the callers, who apparently believed that we devoted our entire day’s work to deviously disappoint Nevada City’s Junior All Stars.
A week ago, I was taken aback by a similar call complaining about coverage of the Tournament of Champions, of which the reader alluded to what he deemed to be The Union’s “south-county bias” in reporting on a Bear River victory.
And earlier this week, I fielded calls from parents upset by the fact that we had not sent a reporter and photographer to cover their child’s game. They wanted to know why we printed game reports on some, but only published scores for others.
Again, while we would love to be at every game, it’s just not been a reality for us.
And that’s why in addition to the scores we’ve published this week, we’ve also included a note to coaches requesting that they call The Union with a game report on their teams. Unfortunately, those reports have been hard to come by.
Thanks to the efforts of District 11 Tournament Director Janet McKinney, The Union has been able to at the very least report scores from each site each night. And thanks to Nevada City Little League President Tom Dever, we’ve had some highlights to offer our readers on the 11 year olds playing at Pioneer Park.
Still, there are so many more games out there.
I’ve been in this business long enough to know that we’ll never be able please every reader every day.
The tough thing about living with that fact, though, is we’re not about to stop trying.
Brian Hamilton is sports editor at The Union. He may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 477-4240.
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