Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So What Sport is This?

I’m not a big fan of local sports, but for some reason I started reading the attached story that ran on the left side of Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser Sports Section front page. Guess I thought it was about football because of the headline, and football somewhat interests me.

Well, I read all the way to the bottom of the 11-inch story and nowhere did reporter Cindy Luis mention what sport she was talking about. Actually, I figured it out in the second paragraph when the words “stuffs” and “kills” appeared.

It was about University of Hawaii Wahine volleyball. But not once in the story does the word “volleyball” appear.

In Journalism School, I was taught that the pertinent facts should be presented in the story lead … The first – and at minimum the second – paragraph, so as not to keep the reader guessing. The reader should not have to solve a puzzle. What if someone who’s not conversant in volleyball lingo reads the story? Major confusion, right?

Actually, any fervent sports fan could figure it out quite easily, but that’s not the point. The point is, there are certain basic journalism “rules” that should be followed, and I think clearing up what sport is being discussed is tops among the list.

Usually at least a clue appears in the headline, or in the smaller teaser head on top. Not this time. Nothing. Nada.

But everything has its good points. ‘Way down toward the bottom, there’s mention that the University of Southern California Trojan women’s team is firmly entrenched in first place with an unblemished 20-0 record.

Fight on!

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