AP sports style quizzes should test more than usage

Let’s face it: Associated Press Style is not as important as it used to be when print dominated the media landscape.

But let’s also not be naive: understanding key terms and their proper spelling remains essential for all who seek to become a professional in any sports media field.

To get even more out of the AP Stylebook’s sports section, I offer additional insights into sports coverage along the way, such as how to cover a professional golf event or that you need to add about 17 yards from the line of scrimmage to determine the actual distance for a field goal during a football game. (Thus, a team that attempts a FG after moving the ball to the 12-yard-line would convert a 29-yarder since the goal posts sit 10 yards beyond the goal line in the back of the end zone and because the holder almost always kneels seven yards behind the center in order to allow the ball’s trajectory to fly above the flailing hands of defensive linemen.)

Continue reading “AP sports style quizzes should test more than usage”

Here’s an opportunity to learn from premier sports media pros

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.

CMA sports 2015 copyHere’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”

Insights from an LSU beat writer

This was originally posted in November 2013

Sports writers should address football coaches by their proper names.

Beat writers not tweeting at a coach’s press conference are cheating their audience.

That’s some of the advice offered by Randy Rosetta, the Times-Picayune’s LSU beat writer, during the CMA national college journalism conference in New Orleans.

Rosetta emphasized that sports writers should refrain from calling coach’s “coach” during interviews and discussions in order to develop a more professional relationship. “If you use coach,” Rosetta said, “then they’ve got you.”

In addition, he said, beat writers need to deliver information immediately to fans, usually by tweeting quotes, comments, and other key information during press conferences and games. Afterward, writers can then post a blog entry. Fans want to read everything they can on their favorite teams. Said Rosetta: “Feed your audience.”

Some other suggestions:

  • For college games on TV, interview players who probably won’t be interviewed by national media. Offer a new perspective.
  • After emotional games, still ask the tough questions. Athletes and coaches usually want to explain what happened.
  • After games, ask direct, concise questions to get more specific responses.
  • You don’t have to focus just on action on the fields for game stories. Find story angles beforehand and offer analysis. “Talk to players before the game,” Rosetta said. “Ask them: Can you walk me through what you’re going to do?”
  • Let players explain what happened in game stories. It means more to readers if a quarterback describes his interceptions as “bad passes” than if sportswriters use that adjective.
  • In order to prepare to cover games, re-read game notes, read previously published stories, and review stats sheets. “Act as if this is the last hour before a big test,” said Rosetta.