PJ Star

For the civil discussion of large school football.
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94 Knight
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PJ Star

Post by 94 Knight »

If PJ Star is no longer going to include game stats they will lose a 15 year subscriber. I only get the PJ Star for High School sports. I can get Pro and College info from a better source for free. And why even bother with Primetimers if you are only going to include players from a few games that were played locally? It's hard to believe with all the technology we have today, that coverage is actually worse today then 25 years ago. I get the budget issues with print media today but this is very poor coverage.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by CIS »

For the first time in their 140+ years, the Pekin Times will no longer publish a Monday edition starting next week. There will be an online but no printed. That's pretty big! Also, why doesn't the PJS hire stringers to cover what their staff cannot cover? Union issues?
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Re: PJ Star

Post by Kirk Wessler »

Explanation on the individual and team stats in the box scores:

We are able to keep stats only on the games where we have a staff reporter. That's going to be only three or four games on most Fridays. The rest, we rely on coaches (or someone they designate) and other newspapers for stats and game information. Most other papers face even more acute manpower shortages than we do and are unable to provide anything but a scoring summary. A lot of schools do not keep comprehensive individual stats on game nights; certainly, road teams don't, so when our metro teams travel, they have no stats available on game night.

Up until several years ago, we were able to assign up to 10 reporters on a Friday night, with half a dozen additional people in the office to relentlessly pursue stats from the other games. Today, we have just as many games, but one-third of the staff.

The reality is we've been publishing full stats on fewer than half the games (and dwindling) for several years, for the reasons described above. That led to readers asking why we had stats on this or that game but not the others. This year, I decided to eliminate the individual stats, opting for consistency.

Maybe it was the wrong decision. So I'm curious: Would you rather see full stats on three or four games and not the others? Or treat every game equally, with no individual stats?
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Re: PJ Star

Post by CIS »

Kirk, could the PJS hire "stringers" for games staff can't cover? Maybe journalism students from Bradley, ISU and IWU? Or maybe there are some retired reporters in the area? Give them a $75 stipend or something? Is there a union issue for that? As far as stats, I go with providing stats at least for some of the games....I know it's tough times for you guys but overall I think you do a good job with what you have to work with
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Re: PJ Star

Post by roadtrip »

Stats for some are better than stats for none
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Re: PJ Star

Post by 1Football »

Kirk Wessler wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:11 am Explanation on the individual and team stats in the box scores:

We are able to keep stats only on the games where we have a staff reporter. That's going to be only three or four games on most Fridays. The rest, we rely on coaches (or someone they designate) and other newspapers for stats and game information. Most other papers face even more acute manpower shortages than we do and are unable to provide anything but a scoring summary. A lot of schools do not keep comprehensive individual stats on game nights; certainly, road teams don't, so when our metro teams travel, they have no stats available on game night.

Up until several years ago, we were able to assign up to 10 reporters on a Friday night, with half a dozen additional people in the office to relentlessly pursue stats from the other games. Today, we have just as many games, but one-third of the staff.

The reality is we've been publishing full stats on fewer than half the games (and dwindling) for several years, for the reasons described above. That led to readers asking why we had stats on this or that game but not the others. This year, I decided to eliminate the individual stats, opting for consistency.

Maybe it was the wrong decision. So I'm curious: Would you rather see full stats on three or four games and not the others? Or treat every game equally, with no individual stats?
Unfortunately the athlete is the one that suffers the most. They work extremely hard for months and sometimes years to eventually be in a position to get recognition for their dedication and they get none. If the adults/responsible people to do not send in the information for them than they get no outward accolades from local exposure. Some athletes are trying to get noticed by colleges/universities and they have no press. The athlete only has this one opportunity. The Chicago athletes seem to get all the exposure.. Without saying it is better to have little than none..
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94 Knight
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Re: PJ Star

Post by 94 Knight »

Kirk- I would also say some beats none. And 1Football, I am with you for the same reasons. Imagine if they didn't do this last year when Geno had his big games, we would have no idea how close to 3,000 yards he was. Or Foster when he was at RHS, or any of the countless good Metamora backs that put up big numbers. I fully understand the staff restraints that the PJ Star has but I will go back to my original content. A) Last Saturday's sports page was useless and B) I can get pro and College stories anywhere. I only get the paper for High School sports coverage. A story about a chain gang and four questions from one player per team does very little for me. Just give box scores for the games that you can.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by STL »

Some beats none. The HS stats - esp football, basketball and wrestling - have always been one of the best parts of the paper.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by leatherneckfan »

I agree some stats are better than none.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by Mike Radigan »

I'm guessing it was a rhetorical question.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by O&B 78 »

I do like the suggestion CIS had of getting interns during the school season from Bradley, ICC, ISU to cover high school sports the staff can't cover, If possible. I miss the days of waking on Saturday and reading about the games I couldn't attend and seeing the quotes from coaches and players, the stats.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by LarryBird »

I thought I was losing my mind when I gleefully opened up the paper and went straight to the box scores and all I saw was the TD yards! I am not sure what the 3 games the PJS has covered in the past but they must be the only 3 games I cared about as I am sure I always was satisfied with their box scores! I know I would happily go to all the Richwoods games and keep their stats if I was given a sideline pass along with my son who would be there to help me.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by 1Football »

LarryBird wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:01 pm I thought I was losing my mind when I gleefully opened up the paper and went straight to the box scores and all I saw was the TD yards! I am not sure what the 3 games the PJS has covered in the past but they must be the only 3 games I cared about as I am sure I always was satisfied with their box scores! I know I would happily go to all the Richwoods games and keep their stats if I was given a sideline pass along with my son who would be there to help me.
I would support you completely in getting a side line pass.. Talk to coach..
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Re: PJ Star

Post by Kirk Wessler »

I appreciate the feedback. We'll take another look.

As for stringers at most games in the metro area, yes, that is a union issue.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by Jholls »

Let's not forget the Friday paper. I always looked forward to reading all the game previews. Last week there were only two. One big school preview and one small school preview. The PJS is becoming a useless publication concentrating more on adds and less on high school sports. I absolutely hate all the add wraps around each section. I hope they come to their senses.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by Mike Radigan »

Jholls wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:01 am Let's not forget the Friday paper. I always looked forward to reading all the game previews. Last week there were only two. One big school preview and one small school preview. The PJS is becoming a useless publication concentrating more on adds and less on high school sports. I absolutely hate all the add wraps around each section. I hope they come to their senses.
The ad wraps do s-uck. Does anybody read them? I'm betting NO.
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Re: PJ Star

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ging
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Re: PJ Star

Post by ging »

1Football wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:27 pm Some athletes are trying to get noticed by colleges/universities and they have no press. The athlete only has this one opportunity.
I do agree that it would be great to have stats and stories from the local high school teams in the paper on a regular basis.

however, with all due respect, college coaches are not looking through the newspapers to discover athletes to recruit. recruiting is done through showcase events, aau tournaments, "combines", recruiting websites, and coaches and players reaching out to colleges.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by MadHatter555 »

I love reading a newspaper as much as anyone, but the JS product is unfortunately deteriorated to the point it is hard to justify a subscription. I can't tell you how much it hurts to say that, mind you. My warning is that lack of in-depth local HS sports coverage will drive sub numbers even lower. It is one of the only things I truly can't, and don't get elsewhere. Look no further than channel 25 news/sports. They reinforced their dominance in that space by bringing Mattson over. Their ratings in this area for their Friday news casts are outstanding. We can read in-depth stuff about pro/college teams anywhere. Take advantage of the last exclusive space you have to report on....
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Re: PJ Star

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MadHatter555 wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:45 pm I love reading a newspaper as much as anyone, but the JS product is unfortunately deteriorated to the point it is hard to justify a subscription. I can't tell you how much it hurts to say that, mind you. My warning is that lack of in-depth local HS sports coverage will drive sub numbers even lower. It is one of the only things I truly can't, and don't get elsewhere. Look no further than channel 25 news/sports. They reinforced their dominance in that space by bringing Mattson over. Their ratings in this area for their Friday news casts are outstanding. We can read in-depth stuff about pro/college teams anywhere. Take advantage of the last exclusive space you have to report on....
Ditto. On Sunday, my parents' paper was missing the sports section. My dad "The only reason I read the local paper is for sports and the comics." As the volume and quality of local sports coverage decreases in the PJStar and the subscription rate increases, you will lose devoted fans at an alarming rate. The Mattson v. Hall comparison is a perfect one. Mattson covered local sports heavily, Hall covered state/national sports heavily. One is still on the air and the other isn't.
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Re: PJ Star

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MadHatter555 wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:45 pm I love reading a newspaper as much as anyone, but the JS product is unfortunately deteriorated to the point it is hard to justify a subscription. I can't tell you how much it hurts to say that, mind you. My warning is that lack of in-depth local HS sports coverage will drive sub numbers even lower. It is one of the only things I truly can't, and don't get elsewhere. Look no further than channel 25 news/sports. They reinforced their dominance in that space by bringing Mattson over. Their ratings in this area for their Friday news casts are outstanding. We can read in-depth stuff about pro/college teams anywhere. Take advantage of the last exclusive space you have to report on....
Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt the company that ran Channel 25 buy out channel 19 and they are the same outfit now? So Mattson essentially just kept his job for a different boss, if I am not mistaken.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by jim beam »

This has been in motion for years. I have no answers or real ideas but I can say the only reason I would consider reading a sports section from my local paper is for local coverage. I don't get any professional or college info from PJStar..and that includes everything. Nascar-golf-bowling-mlb-nfl-nba any college not in the area. Its a conundrum for print media these days for sure
Thanks J.J. for what I consider sound advice!
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Re: PJ Star

Post by STL »

I think we all understand that the current economics of the print media industry are not good. But the response by newspapers is not going to fix the problem. Let's try Less content, more ads and those **** wrap-arounds! The first thing I do every morning is rip them off. Some of us like to actually hold a newspaper, but there has to be something worth reading.
And I agree with everyone else that the sports section has deteriorated tremendously. I can - and do - get my college and pro sports stories elsewhere. High school sports is PJS' competitive advantage, but you don't seem to realize it. Honestly, the Saturday sports sections in the fall should be your premier issues. Instead, last week's was beyond disappointing.
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Re: PJ Star

Post by O&B 78 »

Hopefully the corporate brain trust will see what people are saying and give Kirk / PJS the resources to be able to give readers what they want. Local sports and news, not the national stuff that was read online the day before. Otherwise the spiral will continue downward
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Re: PJ Star

Post by jim beam »

Actually I do have an idea. Might not be a good one, but perhaps the framework could be built on. What if the PJS could somehow partner with each high school in the area. Schools used to each have a student run newspaper. What if there were a media club or journalism committee etc at each local high school. The main purpose of this club was to cover every single sporting event (home team) and send the report to pjstar. Their could be a revenue stream from each school fashioned after the sports programs each school sells. Again, I dont have answers or deep thoughts on how to implement..but clearly there needs to something creative and outside the box
Thanks J.J. for what I consider sound advice!
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