Picture
'Introduction to Sports Reporting', a journalism module by Poynter's News University. The module is being beta tested by #loweclass.
One of the many benefits of having Herb Lowe as a professor is getting real world experience for journalism while still sitting in a classroom. An example being a beta tester for Poynter's News Unitversity's newest module, "Introduction to Sports Reporting."

"Introduction to Sports Reporting" is a module that teaches a reporter how to successfully cover a sporting event. Even though a reporter may have watched sports all of his/her life, and be very knowledgable in the sport, it takes training to be successful as a reporter, much like it takes training to be a stellar athlete. 

What I found to be the most helpful in the module was having the instructor, Joe Gisondi, explain that the best stories do not simply follow the game in chronological order. If a reporter does, the story comes out to be more like a box score rather than an actual story. Gisondi stresses reporters to do their homework before the event begins. Find the interesting story lines between the two teams. If you find a storyline that interests you, it will probably interest your readers just as much if not more. 

Early on in the module, you are tested on how knowledgeable you are in four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track and field. I found this to be fun because it not only showed me what sports I did not know well (20 percent on track and field), and what sports I knew very well (100 percent on baseball and football). It gives the student a chance to evaluate themselves before even starting the module to see what part they need to pay attention to, and what parts are just refreshers. I myself found it to be a very good combination of the two, which kept me interested throughout the whole module.

However, there were some areas that the module could improve on. The first was Gisondi's explanation of pre-reporting. Gisondi has the student study a preview for a 2009 football game between Eastern Illinois Panthers and Murray State Racers. While the preview itself was pretty well put together, there was a copy editing problem in the preview itself. Also, Gisondi could have made the preview for a different sport than football. The student is learning that background is important, and that a journalist needs to get to know the sport before going to cover that sporting event. Why not give the student a preview of a sport they may not know very well, say soccer or ice hockey? The student is then learning how to do pre-reporting, while also learning more about a sport they may cover at the same time.

"Introduction to Sports Reporting" is a module that is essential to a sports reporter. It teaches the student how to cover a sporting event, whether it be Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals or a preseason game of Pop Warner football.  The module gives real world applications on how to research before a game, what to do during a game, and how to report it after the game. The next would be to teach how to do more feature stories for sports. But "Introduction to Sports Reporting" is a good starting point. 
 





Leave a Reply.