Posts Tagged ‘Sports reporting’

More models for online reporting

September 9, 2009
The Roanoke Times used maps, photos, text, video and audio to tell the story of this grueling race across the mountains of western Virginia.

The Roanoke Times used maps, photos, text, video and audio to tell the story of this grueling race across the mountains of western Virginia.

The Roanoke Times did a tremendous job covering the Hellgate 100K race through the mountains of western Virginia. Yes, that’s right – 66 miles. And the course elevates 13,000 feet over the peaks of the Jefferson National Forest. Check this out for some suggestions for covering events on, and around, your campus.

The St. Petersburg Times has a great site set up for covering prep sports that includes results, schedules, features, and recruiting.

Who are the best players on your school’s team, or in the conference? Here’s how the Arizona Daily Star presented a similar package on Arizona State’s football team. The newspaper produced a similar package on the softball team, a perennial national title contender.

The San Diego Tribune posted a history of the Padres uniforms through the years.

Here’s a simple chart you may want to emulate. USA Today chronicles Alex Rodriguez’s milestone home runs, offering a top 10 all-time leader chart to go alongside it as well.

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Models for online sports coverage

September 4, 2009
The Columbus Dispatch covers Ohio State like no other online.

The Columbus Dispatch covers Ohio State, a package that should be a model for all team coverage – at any level.

Some more online sports coverage ideas.

Create a preview game package online. That’s what the Columbus Dispatch does for the Ohio State football team, something that should be a model for all sports departments. This package includes a cover story, profiles on players from each team, five keys to winning, rosters, schedules, updated weather reports – and much, much more. Readers dig in as much they would like. (more…)

Newspapers expand sports coverage beyond games

September 2, 2009
The Indianapolis Star compiled a terrific database for Hoosiers basketball.

The Indianapolis Star compiled a terrific database that offers stats and results from every Indiana University basketball game.

Here is the first in a series of glimpses at how newspapers are expanding sports coverage through new media.

Create a database. The Indianapolis Star compiled every result and stat from every game Indiana University has ever played, something that includes the Hoosiers’ overall record against every team played. You can compile this for any team or sport.

Host live chats with coaches and players where readers can pose questions or follow along. Afterward, post the transcripts of these chats, as the Dallas Morning News does.

Post headlines from stories and blog entries on Twitter, along with a link, to attract more readers. But tweet regularly about breaking news on a regular basis or readers won’t sign up.

Create a guide to something sports related in your area, such as football stadiums, basketball gymnasiums, fishing areas or golf courses. The Boston Globe assembled a guide to the Red Sox’s minor league ballparks, a guide that blends photo, lists and extended cutlines. You might even add audio with each photos – comments from a peanut vendor or a PA announcer, perhaps.

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Does Twitter have legs?

June 4, 2009

I’d start this post by saying I’m not really atwitter about the social network called, well, Twitter, but I didn’t want to scare everybody off with that lame joke.

Instead, here’s a much funnier joke:

A guy is in the hospital with two broken legs. The nurse comes in and tells him that there’s good news and bad news.

The guy asks for the bad news first.

The nurse says, “We’re going to have to remove your legs.” (more…)

Some youth coaches suck

March 1, 2009

Not sure why some coaches need to play mind games with young athletes. But some do, trying to create doubt or to diminish confidence in another team’s players. At the youth level, these coaches should be dismissed for their disgusting behavior. (more…)

Post all stories online, not just the big ones

October 13, 2008
Texas fans did not get to read about the womens soccer team's victory Monday morning unless they went to the school's athletics site. Post all stories online (and quickly).

Texas fans did not get to read about the womens soccer team's victory Monday morning unless they went to the school's athletics site. Newspapers should post all stories online – and quickly. (photo/texassports.com)

Texas football coach Mack Brown said Saturday’s game against Oklahoma was one of the greatest games he had ever seen. Better than Vince Young’s heroics against Southern Cal a few years ago? Coaches are prone to hyperbole, so we’ll allow this emotional post-game statement. The Longhorns’ 45-35 victory over Oklahoma may have been the best big-game this season. Offensively, this sure was a (Red River) Shootout as both offenses ran and threw, seemingly, at will. It was a fun game to watch. The Daily Texan’s David R. Henry was up to task of covering a game between a No. 5 (Texas) and No. 1 (Oklahoma). Here’s his lead:

DALLAS — Chris Ogbonnaya’s run toward a roaring sea of orange at the Cotton Bowl in the fourth quarter put an exclamation point at the end of Texas’ new No. 1 ranking.

The senior running back’s 62-yard run to the 2-yard line with Texas up by three led to the game’s final score, a 2-yard Cody Johnson run, giving the No. 5 Longhorns a 45-35 upset win over No. 1 Oklahoma in Saturday’s Red River Rivalry.

“It was one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “Every time one would get up, the other one would come back and vice-versa. It was a heavyweight fight that continued throughout the day.”

After Missouri and LSU, formerly in the top five ahead of Texas, fell Saturday, the Longhorns overtook second-ranked Alabama in the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches’ polls to score their first No. 1 ranking since October of 1984.

Henry covers all the main elements – key play (62-yard run in final minutes), significance (Longhorns now are No. 1), context (two other top 5 teams lost during the weekend), and solid quote that emphasizes the lead’s focus.

(more…)

Plaschke: Be the Miracle

October 2, 2008
Bill Plaschke has been named National Sports Columnist of the Year, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and writes some of the best damned stories in spors journalism.

The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke has been named National Sports Columnist of the Year, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and writes some of the best damned stories in sports journalism.

There are few (if any) sports columnists more adept at telling stories than the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke, a journalist who reports and digs for stories that nobody else really sees. I recently came across a truly inspiring speech he offered to those attending the JEA/NSPA convention last June. After reading his speech, you’ll want to race for your notepad to report (and to rip out a few pages to wipe away the tears). Plaschke covered sports at a university (SIU-Edwardsville) that had very few sports teams and no superstars, so he focused more on stories about people than about sports. Today, he still may eschew the big events (NBA championships, Super Bowls) to write about a woman who must write columns with her mouth and about a magical water boy who is an inspiration for Southern Cal’s football team. (Good luck holding back the tears when reading these stories.) If, after reading his speech, you do not get inspired (or chills), perhaps another profession would do you good.

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Kernel offers solid recruiting story

September 10, 2008
The Kentucky Kernel digs into the reasons that recruits like Ridge Wilson (above) are signing to play football for Kentucky.

photo by Allie Garza of the Kernel/ The Kentucky Kernel digs into the reasons that recruits like Ridge Wilson (above) are signing to play football for Kentucky.

Kentucky defeated Louisville last week for the second straight season, something that might alter the college football landscape in that state. Apparently, the Wildcats are doing equally well off the field, according to the Kentucky Kernel. Kenny Colston reveals how Kentucky has started to attract some of the state’s top recruits, such as Louisville Central High School linebacker Ridge Wilson.

This a terrific enterprise story, something that goes well beyond basic bats and balls coverage. Colston speaks with top recruits, college and high school coaches, and cites a recruiting expert. This is a good read. Check it out.

Check out new sportswriting resources

August 27, 2008

Need to find a information on UCLA’s tennis team? Need to find the roster for Florida State’s football team? When is Alabama’s state football championship game scheduled? I’ve added resources to this blog that enable sportswriters to research every single NCAA Division 1 sports conference and all 50 state high school sports associations. You can check out several Division 2 college conferences as well. These resources can be used by going down the right side of this blog under the headings College Sports Conferences and High School Sports Associations. In addition, check the Journalism Job section that includes regularly updated positions. Hope these additional resources help. I will continue to add new resources to this site through the school year, but feel free to make additional suggestions by emailing me at jgisondi@gmail.com. Happy reporting.
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Yet another reason to learn online skills

August 26, 2008

Newspapers across the country are moving rapidly to online production, as you probably already know. Some newspapers, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, have imploded the traditional news structure, eliminating news and sports departments in favor of departments like ‘news and information’ and ‘enterprise,’ according to Sporting News EIC Jeff D’Alessio. The AJC is not the only newspaper re-organizing its news rooms. (Still think the Internet is a fad?) Newspapers are actively seeking reporters with new media skills.

Every college newspaper (and yearbook) should develop a sports blog that addresses individual sports or sports in general on campus. Reporters should post info daily regardless of the print publication schedule. Post all breaking news online. These sports blogs should include photos, breaking news, practice notes, and, sometimes, a short feature or profile. And make sure you include internal links within each item, something that enables readers to dig deeper into issues and news. This additional research will also make you a more informed reporter.

If your news publication does not create a sports blog, develop your own as some college students, like an enterprising reporter at Davidson did for basketball. First, you must learn basic journalism skills, but apply them online as well. Frankly, this is no longer an option.

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