ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Bob Ford (above) will visit class. He'll talk about just about anything - from his start in journalism to his stint covering the Sixers, from landing the sweet gig of opining about the day's sporting events to whether the Phillies should bring Jimmy Rollins back next year.
But since many of you are interested in becoming sports journalists, let's think proactively. What's the next step for sports journalists?
Well, some people say that game coverage is an unnecessary item in the daily newspaper since most people (who care) watched the game or checked online or on the evening news to get the scores. What do you think?
One of the big issues facing sports journalists today is the increased competition from journalists working within the professional sports leagues. Rather than using the traditional media outlets to reveal information, all of the major sports teams and leagues (MLB, NFL, etc) now have their own reporting staffs.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks recently wrote:
In the year 2011, I’m not sure I have a need for beat writers from ESPN.com, Yahoo, or any website for that matter to ever be in our locker room before or after a game. I think we have finally reached a point where not only can we communicate any and all factual information from our players and team directly to our fans and customers as effectively as any big sports website, but I think we have also reached a point where our interests are no longer aligned. I think those websites have become the equivalent of paparazzi rather than reporters.
(Read his whole post here ... it's a pretty fascinating perspective).
On top of all that, now we have athletes tweeting and facebooking everything directly to their fans.
What's the role of the sports journalist in this age of information overload? How should sportswriters make themselves stand out?
10 months ago