Off the Press
January 22, 2013
By Kathleen R. Merrill
Share your sports accomplishments
I get complaints from people about things we miss in sports on some kind of regular basis. Not daily, but probably about once a week, someone calls or emails to ask, “Hey, why didn’t you cover this game?” or “How could you miss my son’s first school record?” or “Why isn’t my daughter’s swim meet time in your scoreboard?”
I hear you, and I care about your comments and concerns. I have the same concerns.
When I first started working here nearly eight years ago, we had a three-page sports section, with a color front page. (Schools ran on the back of that standalone section.)
Ahh, those were the days! We not only ruled prep sports, but we also had the occasional Mariners or Seahawks feature story.
With our changing economy, we have had to make numerous changes at The Issaquah Press, including cutting our sports reporter position and the size of our sports section.
Before, we had full-time Sports Editor Bob Taylor (who had an encyclopedic memory and tons of contacts, and who did the work of more than one person) as well as stories from our other papers. We also had a columnist and several contributors, and we could sometimes employ freelancers. We often had a half-page or larger scoreboard that allowed us to get in names galore.
Now, we have a half-time sports reporter and we get one story per week from two of our sister papers. That adds up to less than a full-time person. We also have only two black-and-white pages (minus the advertiser space, which pays for our paper in the first place). Scoreboard often has to be cut to what items we feel people can live with, because the stories have to fit. (We try to have a story from each of the high schools — Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline — each week.)
It’s a hard puzzle to plan, schedule and put together. Think, 10,000 pieces instead of one of those 72-piece kid puzzles.
We used to get a lot of story ideas, pictures, and reports and stats from coaches, parents and other volunteers. All of that has dwindled as well.
We would like to cover every local sporting event and get every local athlete into our paper, school kids and adults alike. But with three high schools (sometimes playing up to seven sports in a season), club teams and various other leagues and organizations, it just isn’t possible.
Here’s how you can help. Email your sports news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes, people don’t send us news of an accomplishment — a hole-in-one, a first touchdown, a school or other sports record, a bowling high score, a marathon time, a race run, participation in a sporting event out of state — because they think we already know about it. Often, we don’t.
We can’t promise to get in everything you send, but we promise to try.