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In many ways Las Vegas is a very interesting town. It’s a place built on tourism. A place where people come to spend money, party and basically behave badly. The motto for the town is “What happens in Vegas stay in Vegas,” and that should tell you everything about the mentality of people visiting here.

Another characteristic that makes Vegas a unique place is that it is a major city still with two competing daily newspapers. The Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal are published on a daily basis and compete to provide better print content and better online coverage. Most cities only have one major daily newspaper, so coming to a place with two papers is something new for me.

With two newspapers in town, one of the main things I’ve noticed is how competition pushes you to continually provide good stories and deliver them in innovative ways. Unlike cities with just one newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun doesn’t have a monopoly on the news here in Vegas, and we’re in constant competition with the RJ. If people don’t feel like we provide accurate content or don’t have enough information, then they can just go to the RJ.

We have to provide the best, most complete coverage of people won’t read our newspaper or visit our website. It’s that simple.

I’ll speak from a sports coverage perspective, because that’s what I do. From the start, the RJ has a leg up on us because it has an agreement with Nevada High School Athletics that requires coaches of every sport to call in their scores to the RJ every night. We don’t have that kind of agreement, so we have to take a slightly different approach.

With the way things are right now, we’re not going to have every single score each night from boy’s basketball, girl’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, golf, etc. However, we can cover as many games as possible, and give those games great coverage.

For example, the high school basketball playoffs are going on right now, and we covered a big game the other day. Like many of our sports stories, we had an article, a video and a photo gallery. One of our reporters also had an awesome story about on of the kids getting a scholarship offer from UNLV…as a freshman. So that’s two stories, a video and photo gallery. The coverage we had was great and I had a good time putting together the video.

Now we don’t just cover events this way because we have a competitor here in Vegas. Knowing the people at the Sun, I think the Sun would cover events this way regardless, because that’s part of what we’re supposed to do as journalists. But having a competitor right there, trying to beat you on every story, can always give you a little extra incentive 🙂

Category: Internship Thoughts

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