Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Improving Kuna Melba News sports coverage
Starting with this week’s issue, we are making some changes in the way we cover local sports. Your complaints about over-coverage of football and not enough coverage of other sports have not gone unnoticed.
From here on out, we will be featuring a different sport each week with photo(s) and a fuller story. We will still provide at least summaries of the other sports each week with game/match/meet results and as many individual statistics as possible.
When my wife and I bought the paper four years ago, there wasn’t any coverage of local sports at all. Requests for coverage of Kuna football was probably the biggest request we received back in the height of football season in September-October 2006. So I started going to the Kuna football games. To be honest, covering football games is relatively easy. Games are on Friday nights, when no public agency holds any meetings, so I’m available to go to the games. Covering football also offered the greatest bang for the buck, as generally hundreds of people show up for varsity games.
As seasons get closer to playoff time, I keep an eye out for teams that are headed to state playoffs. That first year, I wrote a front-page story about the volleyball team heading to state. I’ve traveled to Pocatello for the state softball tournament. I covered the state championship game when the Kuna girls soccer team made it. I covered the boys baseball team’s journey to the state tournament.
But I recognize that I need to do a better job of covering more sports during more of the season. I am committed to doing that.
But I am going to need help. I remember a recent phone call from an angry parent who chewed me out about not providing enough coverage. She asked me why I didn’t send one of my reporters out to more of the games.
The simple answer is that I don’t have any reporters. I’m it. I’m the only reporter on staff. Not just sports, mind you. Everything. Education reporter? Me. City government reporter? Me. Features reporter? You get the idea.
What that means is that on any given night of the week, I’m at a city council meeting, a school board meeting, a planning and zoning meeting, the Grange public speaking contest, the Kuna FFA auction, at someone’s home interviewing them for a feature story, etc. This is not a complaint. I enjoy covering this community. But I want you to know that if I’m not at the volleyball game on Tuesday night, it’s not because I hate volleyball. It’s because I’m across town at City Council or the school board meeting.
I am really honestly and truly doing my best to balance coverage of everything that should be covered in Kuna. Not to mention trying to balance a healthy work and family life.
OK, so here’s where the help comes in. I now have four easy ways that coaches — and parents, for that matter — can submit results to the Kuna Melba News:
• By phone: call 922-3008. If I’m not in, leave the results on voicemail.
• By fax: 922-3009.
• By email: email@example.com.
• Through our website, www.kunamelba.com. There is now a brand spanking new form, under “Send News Of:” labeled “Sports.” It’s an easy form to fill out and gets sent right to my inbox. There’s also a new form on the site, right under sports, to submit photos.
So I ask that you be patient with me but continue to let me know how I can improve this newspaper. If you like what we’re doing, let others know and encourage them to subscribe. Heck, if we get enough subscribers, maybe we’d be able to hire another reporter.