Originally created 09/17/00

There's no room for bias

Death and taxes long have been known as two of life's certainties.

I can add a third item to that list -- football fans complaining about the coverage of their favorite team.

You can tell it's football season -- not by the cooler weather or the changing of the leaves -- by the sheer volume of e-mail.

As sports editor, it's my job to oversee all of our coverage, from preps to pros. I have plenty of help from our staff, but most of the calls, letters and e-mail are directed to me.

Like the e-mail I received earlier this week from a Thomson High School fan.

The writer said the Chronicle covers the Bulldogs only when they lose a big game. (Thomson lost to Washington-Wilkes 27-18 on Sept. 8). And when Thomson wins a big game, the writer said, the story is buried in the back of the sports section.

The truth of the matter is that I wish we were that good at predicting outcomes. There is no conspiracy to make Thomson, or any other local team, look bad when it loses.

Decisions are made early each week on what games the Chronicle will cover each weekend. With help from Tim Morse, who coordinates our Georgia prep coverage, we pick the key games for that week.

On a typical Friday night, the Chronicle staffs 10 games , and pictures are taken at three or four of those games. Placement of stories and photos often is determined before the games are played, which sometimes requires us to make changes at the last minute.

Another letter writer recently took us to task for not giving Silver Bluff High School enough coverage.

I think I know why he was upset. The Chronicle has three editions, each one zoned to a particular area. The first edition goes to outlying areas, the second to South Carolina, and the final to the immediate Augusta and North Augusta areas.

The writer, who lives in Augusta, probably doesn't get to see our South Carolina edition. Stories on South Carolina schools don't always make the final edition; sometimes they are substituted for a story on an Augusta school.

Putting together a newspaper has never been an exact science. A number of different factors, such as those described above, go into the equation.

Regardless, we pride ourselves on providing as much coverage of the local teams as possible.

Reach John Boyette at (706) 823-3337.


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