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Has anyone else been contacted by the New York Times re: eventing article?

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  • Has anyone else been contacted by the New York Times re: eventing article?

    The title pretty much says it--I was contacted by a reporter at the NYT--said they saw my comments on the COTH and she would like to talk with me.

    I emailed her back and asked what the article was to cover and haven't heard back yet.

    The email was from Katie Thomas, NYT?

  • #2
    Not I, but the word is apparently out and the consensus is that the NYT is not always interested in putting a nice "spin" on things, so think about what you say, I guess.
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Deltawave--

      The (very) few articles I've been interviewed for over the years haven't led me to be overly forthcoming with newspaper reporters!

      I'm surprised they would contact me--I've not been one of the most vocal people that post....

      If I do speak with her I'd be extremely cautious with what I had to say, no worries!

      LAZ

      Comment


      • #4
        Not NY, but FL...

        I was contacted by a reporter in FL regarding a response to the USEA letter. But i had enough Reporters twisting the truth during high school and sports stuff... i tend to stay far far away from newspapers unless i'm reading them.
        Proud owner of a Spicy mare!!

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm in PR and media relations, and even though it's the NYT, one still must assume the following:

          - your comments will not be quoted completely
          - your comments will be edited to fit the article's agenda
          - chances are good that your comments, if quoted, will be entirely out of their original context.

          Kate may know her stuff. (I had a great article written in the Chicago Tribune, written by a journo who herself rides). But she may not know diddly/squat about eventing.

          Beware, because we know that media tend to prefer more sensational stories.
          Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

          Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SparklePlenty View Post
            I was contacted by a reporter in FL regarding a response to the USEA letter. But i had enough Reporters twisting the truth during high school and sports stuff... i tend to stay far far away from newspapers unless i'm reading them.
            I was contacted by someone from the Tallahassee Democrat (or whatever that paper is called) via e-mail but haven't responded.
            Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

            Comment


            • #7
              Both I and some of my friends have had reporters really twist things around, even from bigger more well known papers. I would be very careful and probably safest to turn it down.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was contacted by the NYT reporter. She left a message on my home number. I haven't called her back yet. I would prefer to do a bit of research on her first. Eventing certainly doesn't need any more bad press right now. I'm guessing that she got my name from the post re: CMP where many of us posted our names and USEA numbers. Interestingly, she also knew my wife's name and she doesn't post on this (or any equestrian) board, though she is an equestrian professional. USEA membership list maybe?
                He attacked everything in life with a mix of extrordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
                - Douglas Adams

                Comment


                • #9
                  I feel it's one thing to discuss among fellow eventers, but yet another to discuss among those not involved with the sport. I would send them to Emily Daily of the USEA if they contacted me.
                  www.canterusa.org

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "If your mother says she loves you, check it out"

                    Reporters can find ANYTHING! They're good at ferreting out details. And this is a public forum, so being contacted by Katie and her cohorts isn't irregular. And props to her, frankly, for finding this forum. But anyhoo ....

                    I did a quick byline search and she is a sports feature reporter for the NYT, which means she doesn't cover a beat like baseball, but instead covers a wide variety of sports stories - from mainstream to niche. Here's an article from yesterday she wrote on Darfur and the Olympics.

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/sp...hletes.html?hp

                    Here's another, on gay hockey fans' challenges with fans at Rangers' games:
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/sp...r=1&ref=sports

                    Whether it's her or her editor, someone there has a nose for the unconventional story, and they do lean towards being what I would call sensationalist.

                    If you do grant her an interview, be factual, tell her what you love and don't sugar coat (but don't dwell). One takes a risk when one feeds a horse a carrot, much less when one climbs aboard. Other sports are risky too.
                    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      She called me and left a message. Haven't called her back. Should I???
                      \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        its a double-edged sword- if she is definitely doing a story then we want our side out there even with the risk that it will be a story taking statements out of context because she has already decided it will be a story about evil people who risk their lives and their horses live for an adrenaline rush (if that is already the spin, it will be the same article with or without our input).
                        on the flip side, if she is deciding whether to do a story, it is better that she does not get enough response to make it worth it as I do not think we will benefit from outside scrutiny right now- we need to fix up our own shop here which I think we are taking steps to do
                        I am gun-shy of the press both because I have never been accurately quoted in it and I have seen the animal rights press machine/press bias in action up close and it ain't pretty. The NYT probably not the most likely publication to do a story beneficial to the sport.
                        If she called me, I would probably refer her to the press office of the USEA
                        There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bambam has had media training ....

                          or she's learned the hard way

                          either way I agree 100% with the above post.
                          Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                          Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Always remember you have three options when answering a question. You can answer it, you can not answer or you can answer a different question. Savvy media people use option three all the time to make sure they have some control of the message!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by subk View Post
                              Always remember you have three options when answering a question. You can answer it, you can not answer or you can answer a different question. Savvy media people use option three all the time to make sure they have some control of the message!
                              you are assuming that they will print what you say in connection with the subject you were discussing and not out of context or even completely made up. the issue/concern I have is not that the people here are not articulate people who can present the sport well but what a reporter will do with it- and no matter what question you answer, you have no control over what the reporter does with your answer. I have seen it many times.

                              johnnysauntie- it was option # 2 which should explain my point of view on this
                              There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by bambam View Post
                                and no matter what question you answer, you have no control over what the reporter does with your answer. I have seen it many times.
                                I didn't say all controll just "some" control!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think referring to the USEA is an excellent idea. Just think of the inaccuracies we see in news reports that are "fluff" pieces on eventing and imagine what someone will do who is trying to write a hard-hitting article (expose). And, there is always the possibility that the article was pitched by an animal rights group, rather than a reporter with an interest in the sport itself. Yes, you can control what you tell them, but you can't really control what they use or how. Plus, even if you are misquoted, you still have to go through the process of trying to get a retraction and even if you get one, it is printed somewhere it is unlikely to be seen. You also need to be very, very clear if you do not want to be quoted...."off the record, on background only, not for attribution" etc. Yes, the one time I let my guard down with a reporter and made an off-hand comment, it got quoted, so I'm a bit sensitive.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    She messaged me on Facebook, but just said she was "writing a story." Dumb me thought that it was some high school/college creative writing student that wanted to know more about eventing.

                                    I have not, however, called her.
                                    ~T3DE 2010 Pact Clique~

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was contacted, called back and said that I would be happy to talk with her IF:
                                      • I was informed in writing of the the purpose (slant/angle) of the article
                                      • I would/could approve any quotes attributed to me
                                      • the article contained the perspective of all stakeholders whether I agreed with their position or not.
                                      • that if any member of a particular group wanted to offer an opinion, statistics, comments, their names would be used or the info would not be used
                                      • agreement to all the above would be put in wriitng by the managing editor of the NY Times.
                                      I seriously doubt that I willl hear back from her. Interesting though that the outside media is picking up on the turmoil and perhaps the reasons.
                                      ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by melodiousaphony View Post
                                        She messaged me on Facebook, but just said she was "writing a story." Dumb me thought that it was some high school/college creative writing student that wanted to know more about eventing.

                                        I have not, however, called her.
                                        She messaged me on Facebook, too. She knew it was me based on my picture. I don't think I'll answer. I have no idea what to say and would somehow just shoot myself in the foot.

                                        However, I appreciate the fact that somebody's writing SOMETHING in the "real world" and that our sport is getting some attention. Whether it's negative attention or good we'll just have to wait and find out.
                                        God forbid that I go to a heaven in which there are no horses

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