How to report and write news stories more visually

Co-wrote an article with friend and colleague Brian Poulter that has been published in the current issue of Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication. This evolved from a workshop we presented at several conferences on ways to improve writing skills by employing photographic approaches. Check it out.

A primer on how to use databases to investigate Title IX compliance on your own campus

Sports journalism should include far more than game reports, reviews, columns and the occasional profile. The best sections address important issues related to sports.

Title IX is one of the most significant issues on college campuses, but it is a topic that is rarely reported in college media, which is a shame since the data is out there. So I’m always impressed when I find solid stories like this one by the Badger Herald’s Anne Blackbourn and this one by several writers at the Amherst Student.

Let’s look at some ways to develop a story using a database. In this case, I’ll address Title IX.

Continue reading “A primer on how to use databases to investigate Title IX compliance on your own campus”

Start planning for 2018 sports media conference for college students

sports17Sorry if you missed out on the best sports journalism training for college students this past weekend. But there’s always next year when we roll out another impressive three-day conference in Nashville.

We just completed the fourth annual CMI Sports Journalism Workshop, held this year at both Vanderbilt and Bridgestone Arena for more than 200 students and a few faculty members. Like the first three years, speakers once again delivered terrific insights into a variety of topics ranging from baseball beat coverage from ESPN’s Buster Olney and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold to telling stories in long-form from Jordan Ritter Conn to sideline reporting to broadcasting, multimedia, interviewing, to name just a few. Continue reading “Start planning for 2018 sports media conference for college students”

Rubrics help teachers, students focus on key elements of journalism

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Anybody who works as a journalist realizes there are essentially two kinds of stories – those that either pass or fail, that either inform and/or entertain readers fully or that lack depth, sources, context, skill. Anybody who teaches journalism realizes we can’t really grade in this manner. To that end, I typically create rubrics for courses that address advanced reporting, sports writing and feature writing in order to offer more specific instruction on how to improve. Rubrics can remind students on the elements included in good journalism.

Continue reading “Rubrics help teachers, students focus on key elements of journalism”

Correcting mistakes made by inexperienced sports writing students

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You can create some great writing exercises by using materials offered on sites such as MLB.com.

Students interested in writing journalistically – sports or otherwise – invariably take similar approaches and make comparable mistakes.

Language tends to be the biggest challenge for many students, whether that means a reliance on clichés and jargon, an inability to write precisely or concisely, or an overusage of inflated and hyperbolic language to display key moments or trends in games.

Let’s address some of those related to an exercise I developed for my sports journalism course. Continue reading “Correcting mistakes made by inexperienced sports writing students”