In this first edition of our sports media podcast, Jeff Owens (WEIU-FM’s director) and I address coverage surrounding Colin Kaepernick, cite our favorite journalists and broadcasters and discuss other sports media news from the past week. In addition, we plan to interview professional sports media journalists and experts, to offer advice to younger journalists, and evaluate sports coverage. Who knows where else this will morph? Please, check it out.
Here’s information I presented at the College Media Association’s national convention in Philadelphia last week.
Establish beats. There is no logic in not having a sports beat system, only excuses and poor management. All beats have equally good stories. Assign one person as the primary coverage reporter for each sports team on campus. Other reporters can jump in and help by writing sidebars, compiling notebooks and filling in to write the mainbar when the main reporter is unavailable. Without a beat system, sportswriters are unfamiliar w/teams, can’t discern trends, and don’t earn players’ and coaches’ trust. Without a beat system, reporters are far less informed & don’t have established relationship with players/coach. As a result, stories = bland. So stop this nonsense of allowing multiple people to cover a single beat.
So what are you doing to create ‘the‘ place where fans turn for sports news on your campus? Or do you feel cocky, believing no other media can beat you for sports coverage? But does that include your own sports information department, which is probably cranking out copy, developing resources, and posting links all over its Web site?
Yeah, but that’s not journalism right? Think fans care? Really?
It’s difficult to predict the future, but we can certainly discern the present: Change is rampant in sports media. Game coverage, for example, has changed dramatically during the past several years and athletes now regularly bypass sports reporters through social media. So, as educators, we should also adapt to properly prepare the next generation of journalists.