It’s going to be a different, and likely more difficult, semester for many who are teaching sports writing courses across the country. Few, if any, sports might be available in some states – and even where they will be competing, interviewing athletes and coaches will be more challenging. Nobody yet has many answers, but we’re all trying. To that end, I have shared syllabi for several courses below – Writing for Sports Media, Advanced Reporting and News Writing. Would love to see yours, as well.
Tommy Deas, executive sports editor at The Tuscaloosa News and former president of the Associated Press Sports Editors, offered terrific advice to students attending the College Media Mega Workshop here in Minneapolis. Deas regularly mentors young students, which was evident by his pragmatic advice and encouraging tone.
Here is some advice culled from our conversation with Deas, offered in no particular order of importance:
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.
Sorry 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”
I recently Tweeted out further suggestions on ways to write more precisely and accurately about sports. I have posted those below.
I’ve been evaluating news stories for classes the past few days, correcting and commenting about several repeated weaknesses in stories. Here are a few suggestions that I just passed along to my students.
Mo Patton Sports, a website dedicated to prep coverage in the Nashville region, does a solid job using multiple media platforms to present information.
They break news on Twitter:
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.