Covering sports is often both humbling and gratifying, more so at the prep and small college level where not as much information is readily available. As a journalism teacher, I find these reporting experiences essential to teaching, serving as a reminder what students endure each time they head to a gym or ball field.
I once had a journalism professor who was out of touch, arguing that my approach to covering a game the night before for a local newspaper had been all kinds of wrong – perhaps if viewed through his mindset, which had clearly calcified a few decades earlier. I walked over to the college counselors after class to switch my major to English. If I was going to learn about older writing, I might as well read Hawthorne, Dickens and Whitman whose words still resonate.
On this assignment, I sought to model several behaviors:
- Speak to numerous players and coaches after the game in order to gather insights that can not be discerned from watching the game.
- Offer a storyline that offers insight into what this game means.
- Not write a basic lead that offers just who won and a key play or stat. After all, most readers will already know the result via social media. We posted the scores as well.
- Include brief analysis of the game.
- Link to previous coverage.
You can verify for yourself whether I succeeded.