Online No Longer Honors Print’s Right To Wrong

Sunday night George Schroeder and Adam Jude of the EUGENE (OR) REGISTER-GUARD reported online that “University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly has reached an agreement to become the head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a highly placed UO athletic department source told The Register-Guard.

(Unlike Online, where both correct, Print’s getting it right is role of dice)

More from the Eugene newspaper’s online report:

“It’s done,” the source said Sunday night. … Asked if Kelly might change his mind about leaving Oregon, the UO source said: “I can’t even fathom. … I think all the boxes have been checked.”

Earlier SbB had reported that Chip Kelly had accepted an offer to become the next coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was in the process of assembling his first-ever NFL coaching staff.

Subsequently, Schroeder and Jude reported on the Register-Guard website that Kelly had backed out on his agreement with the Bucs.

From Jude’s story:

University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly told a highly placed UO source late Sunday night that he has reversed course and decided to turn down an offer from the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The source told The Register-Guard earlier Sunday night that Kelly had reached an agreement to become Tampa Bay’s head coach. “It’s done,” the source said.

Just before midnight, Kelly changed his mind, telling the source: “I’m staying.”

Why did Kelly back out of his deal with the Bucs after he had accepted a now-documented offer to become Tampa Bay’s head coach?

All we can be certain of, thanks to SbB’s source and reports from the Register-Guard and TAMPA BAY TIMES reporter Rick Stroud, is that Kelly met with Bucs officials last week and eventually agreed to become the NFL team’s coach - only to reverse course after an explosion of media reports to that effect.

Regardless, the particular timing of Kelly ‘changing his mind’ allowed the newspaper serving the University of Oregon community, the Eugene Register-Guard, to pullback what was set, literally, to be a six-column headline across the top of the Monday edition of the print newspaper’s front page.

A headline which read, “Kelly Accepts NFL Job.

The headline was based on Schroeder and Jude’s story about Kelly leaving Oregon for Tampa Bay and had the newspaper published an edition with that headline, the perception would have been that the story was wrong.

But it wasn’t then and it isn’t now.

The story the initial Register-Guard headline was based upon at the time indicated Kelly had accepted an offer to coach the Bucs, which was true. (If Kelly had never accepted an offer, how could he have changed his mind?)

After Kelly reneged on his commitment to the Bucs, the Register-Guard updated its story to reflect most recent events and fashion a new headline which read: “Source: Kelly Staying.

The blow-by-blow reporting by Schroeder and Jude on the Register-Guard website last night showed why online, real-time reporting delivers the news consumer the context a fluid story like Kelly’s requires - and print newspapers will never provide.

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