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.
Research into athletics spending has never been easier for college sports media thanks to both the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the USA Today athletics/coaches’ salary databases. These resources enable college sports journalists to compare finances in order to develop numerous comparisons. This morning, for example, I played with financial data related to both our school (Eastern Illinois University) and our conference (Ohio Valley) that has yielded information for at least a few stories worth investigating.
Here is a sampling of data about EIU’s spending based upon 2012 finances from the Knight Commission database: EIU ranks ninth among 10 OVC schools in total athletic spending at $29,159 per FTE. [Data for Belmont and SIU-E were unavailable.] Southeast Missouri spent $259 less overall per FTE than EIU does. EIU spent $12,550 more on athletics (FTE) than on academics. In this category, EIU ranks at the bottom. Murray State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State, meanwhile, each spent more than $30,000 more per FTE on athletics than on academics.
College students and faculty will have the opportunity to spend two days with the nation’s premier sports media professionals during the second College Media Sports Reporting Training Camp scheduled Feb. 6-7 in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, home to the NHL Predators. Last year, the conference sold out quickly, so register early to take part in this amazing learning opportunity. Look forward to seeing you there.
Here’s more detailed information from our promotional materials:
College sports media students, advisers and faculty can spend two days at Training Camp and learn from the nation’s premier sports media professionals how to better inform and entertain your followers, no matter the media platform. This one-of-a-kind opportunity exclusively for college media will tackle sports storytelling, game analysis, social media and on-air radio and television. Continue reading “Here’s an opportunity to learn from premier sports media pros”→
The Sports Field Guide is moving to this ‘.org’ location for reasons too lengthy (and too uninteresting) to note here. You can still go to SportsFieldGuide.com to read archived information. This week, I am returning after a hiatus to post tips, suggestions, and news about covering sports across all media. Please, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thanks for your patience.
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.