Here’s my sports journalism syllabus for the spring semester

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 10.55.51 AMI’ve never taught any class exactly the same way. So it’s no surprise that I have changed the syllabus for my sports writing class in order to reflect changes in the industry during the past few years, which are resonated in the second edition of the Field Guide To Covering Sports, released in August. This new edition, which has been heavily revised, includes several new chapters and advice from more than 130 sports professionals.

Like in past years, I continue to invite coaches to speak candidly about game strategy, recruiting, NCAA requirements, and personal experiences with media coverage. Students must write a story on this for class, but they are forbidden from sharing this conversation elsewhere as these are off-the-record conversations. We are fortunate at EIU to have a wonderful relationship with a friendly, sharp athletic department.

This class is no longer print-centric. Students now write game stories for digital consumption, which means they will take notes, interview sources afterward and then post a gamer on a class WordPress website that includes at least several links, a photo, perhaps some embedded tweets or video/audio and the requisite headline, tags and category section.

In addition, students will get a chance to create a podcast, to do video post-game analysis, and to report deeply into a sports story via a 1,000-plus word multimedia enterprise story.

Feel free to download, use, borrow, steal anything on this syllabus for Sportswriting Sp18. If you want to chat about teaching sports journalism, drop a note below in comments or email me at jgisondi@gmail.com. Happy holidays.

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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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