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Chillin' with Dylan

June 14, 2013

By DYLAN MALONE
    I already know what some readers will think when I write this but it needs to be said anyway...
    Adams Central’s run in softball and baseball was phenomenal. Period.
    Say what you want, non-AC fans. Tell me I’m a traitor for liking the Jets more than Bellmont or South Adams. Remind me that I graduated from there and clearly still have too much invested at that school to properly cover all three schools equally.
    For those of you who have time on your hands, clearly too much, all I can say is that you need to look a little closer.
    If only you knew how many calls, emails, and letters I received each week I bet many of the folks who had something to complain about would think twice about sending it.
    About a month ago, I had a Bellmont fan inform me via email that I was putting too many AC things in the paper and that I should consider that more of the readership is in the Decatur area.
    Just a few days later, an upset Jets fan wrote me that I did not put enough Adams Central material in and that I was neglecting the brilliant seasons the school was producing.
    I knew a long time ago that winning was not an option at this occupation.
    I can honestly say, however, that I put in the newspaper what is newsworthy. It’s that simple. The best example of this will be evident during the football season.
    With three games going on with Adams County schools on Friday nights this fall, I will always have a decision to make as far as which story goes first.
    While each school’s fans will make a case at some point reminding me of where my loyalties should lie, I will, like I always have, remain unbiased in my decision-making.
    Usually, the school that wins will get the top billing. If two teams win, I look at the match-up. If Bellmont and South Adams both win and Adams Central loses, I will run either the Braves or Stars first.
    If I run Bellmont as the headliner in that situation, it is because the Braves likely beat a quality team, such as DeKalb or Columbia City, whereas South Adams likely dominated poor Winchester again.
    In that situation, it will not be because South Adams does not have the readership, it would be because the Bellmont game was more newsworthy. End of story. Period. No biases.
    There are admittedly some special cases when this theory is not concrete. If Adams Central loses to Leo by a last-second field goal and Bellmont dominates a lowly East Noble team, the Jets’ game may be top news. It should make sense to anyone who understands what a newspaper functions as.
    When you open the newspaper and flip to the sports, the idea is that the first thing on the page you see should be the top story. It’s the most important thing that has happened on that particular day (and night).
    After a particularly nasty letter I received about six months ago, I took a long look through the archives at what went on my top story for a few months straight. I took my time flipping through the pages until I came across what the letter writer was referring to in that particular situation.
    It was a time when I had done a preview for the Year-in-Review edition of sports. I had mistakenly left out a picture of the AC Lady Jets softball team that went to state.
    I’m not above making mistakes. I make them daily and I have plenty of people that I work with that will not hesitate to tell me so and rightfully so.
    The letters and phone calls I received after that mistake were expected but my goodness, you would have thought I had put on the page in bold italics that Adams Central softball did not matter.
    I corrected the mistake the very next day with a nice big ol’ shot of the Lady Jets celebrating like banshees.
    I love what I do and I consider myself lucky to say that. I try every day to improve on the method and to keep bringing you, the reader, back for more. I will also continue to remain unbiased in the coverage despite what a few angry citizens may think.
    While I may choose to go to my old high school to watch a big rivalry, it is rarely an indication that I have neglected the other two schools in this county. My goal is to have all of the coaches during any particular season be on the same page with me in coverage so that I can get the story straight, even if I am not present at the game. I am just one man and can still only be at one place at one time.
    All that to say, without a scrap of guilt....Go JETS!
    We may never again see AC, or any school in Adams County for that matter, take both boys and girls to a semi-state level in the same year again. I hope the fans appreciated what those kids did for the school.

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