News from the print world this week is that the Associated Press will substantially change the way they write up games after they are played. Instead of chronicling “every big play, every no-hitter and every controversy on the field during the hundreds of games that make up the major league baseball season”, AP will go to a “shorter, … faster” format meant to better engage readers in this ever accelerating world of ours. (No quote marks on that last one, there—that one’s pure Chuck.)
Here’s how writeups will change:
The basics won’t change: We will continue to publish a NewsNow at game’s end, a 300-word writethru shortly after, followed by a 600-word writethru and a hometown lead.
What will change is how those stories look. The top of the story will continue to look like a traditional AP game story. After 300 words, the text will break into a chunky-text presentation featuring up to five bullet points that explain team storylines, key plays, injuries and a look ahead to what’s next for a team or player.
A “chunky-text presentation”, which looks to be a uniquely AP appellation coined specifically for this press release, appears to occur when a story breaks into short paragraphs set off by in-story headline-like phrases in capital letters, like so:
One night after Cleveland’s struggling right-hander Danny Salazar said he might be tipping his pitches, Indians manager Terry Francona said the 24-year-old Salazar is just leaving too many over the plate. Francona was surprised Salazar would say he was giving hitters clues.
“He’s not,” Francona said. “There were some instances last year in spring training that we kind of addressed with him. But, no, we really keep an eye on that.”
Royals: Perez snapped an 0-for-22 slump with a drive over the center field wall off Masterson in the second inning for his first homer. The Royals catcher with a .295 average in three-plus seasons entered batting just .211 in 71 at-bats.
Indians: Third baseman-designated hitter Carlos Santana is in a 2-for-46 (.043) slide.
Both Ed Sherman (he of the eponymous Report) and Joe Lucia (at Fang’s Bites) like the idea, believing this change will make it easier for readers to digest (no more “meaningless information” that means nothing to the game’s bottom line) and for AP writers to whip up (less time-consuming and more opportunity for creative writing). OK, we’ll go with that opinion as well.
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