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The Dallas Morning News Guide to Coverage of Rice University Athletics
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PerseveranceSpirit Offline
Water Engineer

Posts: 11
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I Root For: Rice
Post: #1
The Dallas Morning News Guide to Coverage of Rice University Athletics
The Dallas Morning News Guide to Coverage of Rice University Athletics
(with a tip of the hat to The Screwtape Letters)

Guideline No. 1 - Except in the most limited of circumstances do not cover Rice athletics. (If you must know why then please know that these guidelines are more of a Houston versus Dallas competition - let’s call it a gentle rivalry - and much less a Rice University versus our Favored Universities thing. So if we ever have a Rice alum in the sports newsroom - of course that’ll never happen; heck, what kind of a place calls itself a university without a journalism school? - please let him or her know to not take this guide as a slight.)

Guideline No. 2 - Except in slightly less limited circumstances do not publish any wire service story about Rice athletics.

Guideline No. 3 - When under the limited circumstances allowed by Guidelines Nos.1 and 2 you are covering Rice athletics, publishing a wire service story about Rice athletics, or adding a local editorial content to a wire service story about Rice athletics, always adhere to the following:

3.A - Avoid pictures of a Rice athlete or coach, etc. But if you absolutely must publish a picture of a Rice athlete or coach to establish a photo subject’s identify, or to provide clarity, balance, or context to the coverage, then a Rice logo or other insignia must not appear in the photo. Or the logo must be partially obscured or near totally obscured. When choosing between two or more absolutely necessary photos choose the least flattering photo - preferably in black-and-white rather than color. (Remember that color is prioritized for Favored Universities.). If Rice has adopted a new logo then when displaying university logos and circumstances make it awkward to not use the Rice logo, use Rice’s old logo for at least two more years.

3.B - In those limited circumstances when Rice athletics content appears on our printed or website pages then that content should be coupled with other college sports news - that is, never in isolation - and subordinate clearly in terms of placement and headline size, etc. to other college athletics news of the day. “Clearly” in the context of the foregoing sentence means at least one order of magnitude. (Two orders of magnitude are preferred, and absent the approval of your supervising editor you are to consider two orders of magnitude to be standard.)

3.C - Under no circumstances should our pages mention Rice’s academics or record of NCAA compliance. (Geez - our SportsDay section is a sports and sports-jurisprudence section - c’mon, now!) Especially prohibited are comparisons on the these two subjects to Favored Universities. (Even more especially prohibited are comparisons or even references associated with the meting out of NCAA probations and sanctions in the last years of the SWC. Just don’t go there.) Instead, often use a slightly dismissive term relating to Rice to incorporate into your news story. Provide context, if needed, for use of the term based solely on a definition of success as on-field or on-court victories or athletic department revenues. The word “slighly” in the foregoing sentence is important, because being too dismissive could someday lead to unwanted attention that could in turn lead to the public exposure of this guide.

3.D - A few other details: always keep in mind that an indirect goal of these guidelines is to avoid any coverage that could help Rice in its recruiting in North Texas, relative especially to a Favored University’s recruiting efforts. Note that the foregoing sentence is not limited to athletic scholarship recruiting. Think this way: never publish what a Rice recruiter might want a prospective student, especially a student-athlete, to see. The idea is to impart in the minds of prospective students who are considering applying to or matriculating at Rice that if she or he accepts a Rice scholarship or an admittance offer from Rice then her or his family will need to find sports coverage elsewhere about the university the student attends.

A final detail: regarding “The Line,” where the names of colleges located in Texas appear in bold-faced type: about half the time do not bold the name Rice. This reinforces subconsciously to our readers that although our masthead asserts that we are “Texas’ Leading Newspaper” our view is that the small private university in Houston isn’t really a Texas university - how could it be - heck - it doesn’t pay its football coach more than its president! How out-of-stepl! And of course not one of, if not foremost among, Texas’ Leading Universities. Let the Rice community in DFW get The Houston Chronicle online.

Again, this guide isn’t about Rice per se - it’s just a little Houston versus Dallas thing we got going. Happy reporting!
09-13-2015 09:58 AM
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owl at the moon Offline
Eastern Screech Owl

Posts: 3,611
Joined: Aug 2013
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I Root For: Rice:NatlChamps
Location: 20mi from THE STAR
Post: #2
The Dallas Morning News Guide to Coverage of Rice University Athletics
I live in the Dallas area but haven't read the DMN in years.

If what you've posted is accurate, then it sounds like they've improved their coverage of Rice in the last few years!!! 03-wink
09-13-2015 11:29 AM
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