Get sports advice on Facebook, Twitter

June 18, 2010 by

Check out Twitter for updates on sports media, sports news and advice on sports reporting. Remember to also check out, the new home for OnSports.

We’ve moved!

January 1, 2010 by

The new website for the OnSports journalism blog.

OnSports, which was a blog for three years, has moved to

This site will continue to house archives, but, starting next week, all future posts will be at


Sports reporting will survive Woods’ affair

December 29, 2009 by

Most sports fans get far more excited about fantasy leagues and analysis than by an athlete’s personal fantasies. Yet, Mitch Albom believes sports journalism is devolving into gossip, rumor and paparazzi.

Tiger Woods

Seems like a lot of people are angered by how Tiger Woods has been treated in the media during the past month. Woods’ affairs have certainly been reported rather heavily. But I do not share Albom’s fears about sports reporting.

Unlike Albom, I do not believe this coverage is going to send sports journalism spiraling. We are not going to see stories about cheating offensive linemen, point guards and second basemen plastered across sports pages.

Why? Because they are not Tiger Woods.

So why is it okay to report on Woods’ affair? Read the rest of this entry »

‘Field Guide’ offers advice from 70 sports journalists

December 28, 2009 by

More than 70 sports reporters, bloggers, and editors, along with 20 coaches, contributed to the Field Guide.

Here’s the cover to the Field Guide To Covering Sports, a sports reporting book that will be published by CQ Press the first week in February. More than 70 sports journalists and 20 coaches contributed to the Field Guide. This book focuses on ways to prepare, observe, interview and write about 20 different sports – everything from auto racing to field hockey to rowing to wrestling. Besides these chapters, the book also offers chapters on writing game stories, writing sports features, covering high school sports, writing blogs, interviewing, and covering fantasy sports, among others.  Will Leitch wrote the foreward. I’ll post a Table of Contents in the next few weeks as the final pages are sent my way.


Crimson White, Daily Texan blitz coverage

December 5, 2009 by

The Crimson White produced a terrific publication previewing today's SEC title game.

So what are college newspapers saying about three big games set for kickoff today?

Florida vs. Alabama

The Independent Alligator offers a story that is filled mostly with overview and background. The ‘Gator also includes several columns along with a podcast where football writers preview the SEC Championship game. Decent content. But nothing spectacular for a game promoted as ‘the game of the millennium’ on the podcast. Columnist Mike McCall says he’s pulling for several teams (Texas Christian, Boise State and Cincinnati) to win so there will be added pressure on college football officials to create a playoff system. Good luck convincing those greedy, self-serving league officials to change the system, Mike, but keep trying.

Read the rest of this entry »

Layer print stories with photos, audio

December 4, 2009 by

Check out the multimedia package 'The Girl' at

I’ve written about this terrific story by the Los Angeles Times’ Kurt Streeter before. But I’ve never really talked about the multimedia package that accompanied the piece. Streeter tells the story behind this story of a young female boxer, narrating as a slide show reveals the girl and her father in East Los Angeles. In addition, you can watch interviews with Seniesa and Joe Estrada. As a result, readers can literally see and hear more about a story already told so well in print. This is a great model to use for your own reporting.


Jenkins nails Tiger in parody

November 30, 2009 by

Sally Jenkins, Washington Post columnist

Tiger Woods’ statement about last weekend’s auto accident yields more questions than answers.  The ever-reclusive Woods, though, refuses to speak with state police investigators.

Fortunately, Sally Jenkins, the Washington Post’s talented sports columnist, offers Tiger’s ‘side’ of a story that is growing more bizarre by the minute. (Somebody who knows public relations, please, please speak to Tiger before he completely destroys his public image.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Check out blog for sports media course

November 12, 2009 by
Picture 1

Class blog created for Sports & Media course here at Eastern Illinois University.

I just completed a class blog that will be used for Sports and the Media, an upper-level class here at Eastern Illinois University. On the blog, I have included about eight to 10 Power Point presentations that students can review before, or after, these respective lectures.

In addition, I included links to assigned articles, although our library has a great eReserve system that allows students to click and read selected articles from reserved journals. I have yet to find the definitive sports media textbook – at least, one that covers subject areas I assign – so I have also placed several texts on regular reserve. Students can read an assigned chapter from these books for up to three hours.

Read the rest of this entry » seeks interns for summer ’10

November 11, 2009 by is once again seeking interns to work this summer, a terrific opportunity for either undergrad or grad students. Deadline is Dec. 11, 2009.

According to MLB: “Applicants should submit a resume, 5 to 10 published articles, a list of references and a 750-word essay on why should select you? Your clips ideally will show a variety of work, including game stories, previews and features.”

Good luck.


Great resource for coaches’ salaries

November 10, 2009 by

USATodayPete Carroll earns more than $4 million per year coaching football at the University of Southern California. Robb Akey earns $258,187 for doing the same at Idaho while David Elson gets $259,808 for coaching Western Kentucky. This disparity is not a shocker – the largest schools with the wealthiest fan base (re: boosters) usually get the most money, the same way that larger schools also get most of the BCS dough.

Even assistant coaches get paid more than head coaches at the biggest football schools. At Alabama, assistants are paid up to $390,00 per season. Assistants at Arkansas ($378,238), Clemson ($350,000), Florida State ($629,000). Louisiana State ($429,000), Maryland ($468,000), Oklahoma ($406,000), and Washington ($600,000) are also paid exceptionally well. But nobody beats Tennessee, where an assistant coach reportedly earns $1.2 million.

Check out this terrific data base created by USA Today. You might also want to develop one for your own school, outlining how much each head and assistant coach makes. (Compare these figures to the salaries paid to teachers and administrators and see where the story takes you.)