The Assignment

Here's the assignment section to David Moffit's 1979 guide on how to cover football for UPI.


Your bureau manager just gave you the word. You are staffing the big football game up at State Saturday.

Your assignment will call for you to battle traffic, perhaps as much as two hours up and two hours back; spend nearly three hours taking copious notes; then, in a few quick minutes, boil it all down to about 300 words.

Usually, you will dictate those 300 words (plus the scoring summary and team statistics) via telephone to the nearest UPI bureau where another staffer will take that dictation on a computer terminal and file it to the NewsCenter football desk.

The NewsCenter, after editing, will file your story to the New York football desk which will relay it to the national sports wires. And the NewsCenter also will relay your story to the appropriate newspaper and broadcast wires in its region.

Sunday, if all goes well, your aunt in Davenport, Iowa, will phone excitedly to inform you she saw your byline in the sports section of her local newspaper.

Next: The Preparations