Ask the Coach

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Bumped off the Front Page


Dear Coach,

I worked really hard on a story that was slated to run on A1. My editors liked it, and I thought everything was fine, but the next morning I saw that it ran in the B section. I was really upset. On the paper’s website, though, my story was the most read and most emailed story of the day. Should I complain to my editor about the story being bumped? – Feeling Dumped

Dear Dumped,

I wouldn’t “complain” about anything. You don’t want to position yourself as a “complainer.” It’s something that will only follow you. That said, if your editor has a few free minutes, you might want to ask her why the piece got bumped. That’s a valid question, and it probably has a valid answer, which could be anything from a strong national or international story coming in late, or your editor’s superiors deciding, for whatever reason, that your piece wasn’t A1 material after all.

Most important though, and the thing you want to hold onto and build on, is the popularity of your story on the Web. If you use the piece in your portfolio, you might want note in the margin that it was the most read and emailed story of the day. Remember, yesterday’s newspaper is yesterday’s news. But your story’s status as the most read and emailed of that day means it has legs that extend far beyond the front page.

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