Take a break from game coverage

Look at most college newspaper sports sections and you’ll see pretty much the same thing – stories about games: Precedes, folos, sidebars, columns. Sometimes, live tweets. Unfortunately, few college sports sections focus on stories outside the lines, as the Indiana Daily Student did this week. Why the dirth of non-game coverage? Habit. Laziness. Lack of imagination. Probably a little of each. To be fair, sports journalism newbies lack the perspective and context to drive these off-the-field stories. As aresult, student media advisers and journalism professors need to guide students away from exclusively covering games and to be sports reporters. It’s far easier to write about a sports event, where everything takes place in front of you and where sports information directors feed all kinds of background, stats, and key plays before setting up post-game interviews. To write a story like IDS’s Stephanie Kuzydym, you’ll need to think more creatively, do considerable research, and ask numerous follow-up questions. One more thing – as you read this story, notice how well this writer tells the story in her own voice, without inserting quotes every other graph. The story is a pleasure to read.

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About jgisondi

I am the author of the "Field Guide To Covering Sports," the second edition now available from Congressional Quarterly Press/SAGE, and "Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot" (U of Nebraska Press). Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition goes beyond general guidance about sports writing, offering readers practical advice on covering 20 specific sports. From auto racing to wrestling, author Joe Gisondi gives tips on the seemingly straightforward—like where to stand on the sideline and how to identify a key player—along with the more specialized—such as figuring out shot selection in lacrosse and understanding a coxswain’s call for a harder stroke in rowing. In the new Second Edition, readers also explore sports reporting across multimedia platforms, developing a foundational understanding for social media, mobile media, visual storytelling, writing for television and radio, and applying sabermetrics. Fully revised with new examples and updated information to give readers confidence in covering just about any game, match, meet, race, regatta or tournament, Field Guide to Covering Sports, Second Edition is the ideal go-to resource to have on hand when mastering the beat. In "Monster Trek," Joe Gisondi brings to life the celebrities in bigfoot culture: people such as Matt Moneymaker, Jeff Meldrum, and Cliff Barackman, who explore remote wooded areas of the country for weeks at a time and spend thousands of dollars on infrared imagers, cameras, and high-end camping equipment. Pursuing the answer to why these seekers of bigfoot do what they do, Gisondi brings to the reader their most interesting—and in many cases, harrowing—expeditions. You can order both from Amazon.
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