HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The newsonomics of MLB’s pioneering mobile experience
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 23, 2011, 10:30 a.m.

AP’s extends “hometown leads” to college football, NFL

The Associated Press is expanding a popular initiative designed to help overworked sports desks that can’t staff away games.

In March, as baseball season got underway, the wire service began offering “hometown leads” — a.k.a stories about the losing club — in addition to the usual game-over story. Now AP sports writers will do the same for top college football games and all NFL games.

“Customers made it clear that they love Hometown Leads for baseball, and the No. 1 request was to expand it to football,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports, in a news release.

The losing-team leads will focus on the hometown and feature at least one quote from a player or coach. The alternate stories appear on the wire last, about 60-75 minutes after the game ends, following the tweet-length NewsNow summary, the fleshed-out game story, and the “optional” feature lead.

The AP provided these examples for a Yankees-Cubs baseball game — traditional story first, hometown story second:

Swisher leads Yankees past Cubs 10-4

CHICAGO (AP) — Nick Swisher hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees routed the Chicago Cubs 10-4 on Sunday night in the finale of their first series at Wrigley Field in eight years.

Cubs blow three-run lead in loss to Yankees

CHICAGO (AP) — Starlin Castro gave the New York Yankees an opening, and, boy, did they take advantage of it.

Castro’s fielding lapse during the fourth inning helped New York get back into the game, and Nick Swisher hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning to send the Chicago Cubs to a 10-4 loss on Sunday night in the finale of the Yankees’ first visit to Wrigley Field in eight years.

The AP is responding to years of requests from editors who face receding deadlines and shrinking staffs — editors like Scott Petrak at The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, Ohio, who spoke to the Lab in March.

“When the [Cleveland] Indians or the Cavs play on the road and they lose, or they’re not the story that night, we’re scrambling on deadline — either to rewrite the lead or move quotes up,” he said. Sometimes, if there isn’t time, an AP story is printed as is, “and the readers aren’t getting what they want,” he said.

The AP’s hometown leads for baseball were a relief for small newspapers that cannot possibly staff all 81 away games. It’s interesting that football was apparently such a popular request from editors, seeing as an NFL season has just eight away games. Are newspapers trimming sports coverage way back? Are papers no longer trying to be the one and only source of hometown sports coverage? If a Cleveland Browns fan can get stats from Yahoo, it might free up a local sports writer to focus on longer-form reporting and analysis.

POSTED     June 23, 2011, 10:30 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The newsonomics of MLB’s pioneering mobile experience
Running a sports league and running a news operation aren’t the same thing. But there are lessons to be learned from baseball’s success in navigating mobile.
Why The New York Times built a tool for crowdsourced time travel
Madison, a new tool that asks readers to help identify ads in the Times archives, is part of a new open source platform for crowdsourcing built by the company’s R&D Lab.
Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news
Its new site JSTOR Daily highlights interesting research and offers background and context on current events.
What to read next
1020
tweets
The newsonomics of the millennial moment
The new wave of news startups is aiming at a younger audience. But do legacy media companies have a chance at earning their attention?
803A mixed bag on apps: What The New York Times learned with NYT Opinion and NYT Now
The two apps were part of the paper’s plan to increase digital subscribers through smaller, targeted offerings. Now, with staff cutbacks on the way, one app is being shuttered and the other is being adjusted.
413The new Vox daily email, explained
The company’s newsletter, Vox Sentences, enters an increasingly crowded inbox. Can concise writing and smart aggregation on the day’s news help expand their audience?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Honolulu Civil Beat
La Nación
Semana
Ars Technica
GateHouse Media
NewsTilt
Connecticut Mirror
The New York Times
Quartz
New York
OpenFile
The Blaze