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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Times have changed in how we do business - are you ready?

Lake Orion's Chris Leigh (right) and the
Dragons have received their share
of press on MIPrepZone.
We get calls (or emails) every so often asking us why certain stories aren't in the paper. Some say the paper used to be so much bigger. There's nothing in the paper anymore. "I'm going to cancel my subscription," they say.
Can't say I blame them. The size of our newspaper has shrunk. It has all over the industry. There's not a paper anywhere that's as big as it was 10 years ago, even five years ago. But I will say this: We've never covered more high school sports than we do today. And it's not even close.
We received a feedback email from a Lake Orion fan (family member) Saturday morning. It read as follows (cleaned up a bit):  

What has Lake Orion done that you hate us so much? This is the second year that you are leaving them out. Last year everything was Clarkston and this year it is all the Prep schools. Last year's semifinal game was the best game ever for any playoff game and you made no nice comment. I subscribe to the paper and it is pretty bad that I have to go online to find out what they did. Guess I will be like everyone else and not buy your paper anymore..More coverage in the Detroit papers.

Now where do I start? These kind of emails disturb me a bit. We don't hate Lake Orion. In fact, we love the Dragons. Lake Orion's home page on ranks No. 1 among our 66 schools. There's a reason for that. We cover as many Lake Orion events as any other school in the county. That includes football, where we've covered 12 of the Dragons' last 16 games. No other school can say that. The problem is, this person was upset because of the 12 games we covered Friday night, just four made the print edition. And Lake Orion (a 49-12 blowout win over West Bloomfield) was not one of them. 
Readers used to be able to wake up Saturday morning, grab the newspaper off their porch and sit at the kitchen table reading all our stories while enjoying their cup of coffee. Fast forward to 2013. Now readers can brew their coffee while firing up their iPad, Kindle or laptop. They can then enjoy that cup of coffee (or bowl of cereal) while reading those same stories - and many more - peruse through all our photos, view our numerous post-game and Tout videos while also viewing our MIPrepZone Game of the Week video broadcast from the night before. Not a bad trade-off if you ask me. 
The point is, while some people have troubles adapting to the new-age technology that is now Digital First Media (our parent company), many have welcomed what we do into their homes (and smart phones). For that, I thank you, we thank you.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is our coverage of Lake Orion football over the past two years. Now you tell me, do we really hate Lake Orion? ;)

Lake Orion football coverage (2012-13)
Week 3: Lake Orion 49, West Bloomfield 12 (GAME STORY)
Week 2: Lake Orion 40, Troy Athens 7
Week 1: Lake Orion 35, Oxford 30 (GAME STORY, VIDEO BROADCAST)

Semifinals: Cass Tech 34, Lake Orion 27 (GAME STORY, PREVIEW STORY)
District final: Lake Orion 10, Eisenhower 7 (GAME STORY)
District semifinal: Lake Orion 35, Stevenson 0 (GAME STORY)
Week 9: Lake Orion 43, Farmington 18
Week 8: Clarkston 21, Lake Orion 14 (GAME STORY, VIDEO BROADCAST, PREVIEW STORY)
Week 7: Lake Orion 49, Pontiac 13 (GAME STORY)
Week 6: Lake Orion 42, Rochester 7 (GAME STORY)
Week 5: Lake Orion 38, Troy 0 (GAME STORY, VIDEO BROADCAST)
Week 4: Lake Orion 42, Stoney Creek 7
Week 3: Lake Orion 42, West Bloomfield 7
Week 2: Lake Orion 68, Troy Athens 20 (GAME STORY)
Week 1: Lake Orion 17, Oxford 10 (GAME STORY, VIDEO BROADCAST)

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