1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Sports Information in a public school district

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NDub, May 20, 2009.

  1. NDub

    NDub Guest

    I talked to a coach last night who gave me a great idea - why not propose a sports information position or department for the local school district? There are 10 high schools in the district and tons of middle and elementary schools. This is the second largest city in the state.

    A lot of ADs and coaches aren't on the same page when it comes to getting out information to the media - scores/results, college signings, transfers, records broken, preseason information, postseason awards/teams, conference standings, etc.

    Many of you know how this works. You a)get some information early in the season but the process on their end slowly fades as the season progresses, b) you get wrapped up trying to track things down for your 3-4-5 beats and can't totally keep up or, c)you don't get any help from ADs and coaches.

    So why not create a sports information director position or department for the local district? The job is to make sure these coaches and ADs not only communicate with the media, but also communicate with you so that you can communicate with the media.

    Duties of the position including creating preseason sport (or school?) guides for the media...weekly newsletters for media, parents and other administrators through the district... arranging press conferences... working with administrators for charity events or team transportation to far-away tourneys.... etc.

    The coach told me to "make it about the kids." So many young student-athletes in the district don't get the recognition. Highlight their accomplishments.

    I'm still piecing this together and haven't had much time to brainstorm, but I'm wondering what you all think? Would something like this work? What ideas do you have to develop the position or office? Anything would be helpful.
  2. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I actually heard of something like this, but forget where. The sports information guy would even talk to athletes about how to deal with reporters and be more personable to ensure better coverage for the school.
  3. Paper Guy

    Paper Guy Member

    I've never understood the attitude the schools I cover take towards the media and that attitude, I think, would prevent something like this from happening.

    Instead of seeing the paper as a service, a tool to use to get kids noticed, the schools I cover act as if they are doing *me* a favor. They are quite arrogant and couldn't care less if it was easy for me to get information.

    I wonder if others have the same problem.
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    In this economic climate this idea is a non-starter.

    Doesn't mean it's not a good idea though.
  5. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    There's a need for it, especially here deep in the hearta' with some of the monster districts. But I don't know whether schools would be willing to pay for it. They might put some IT flunky on the case if we're lucky.
  6. Paper Guy

    Paper Guy Member

    I would kill for an IT flunky...the sports conferences here still dont have a website and the individual schools dont even try half the time...
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It's a valid niche and one that I have thought of before. In fact, some places have people doing this at the state-wide level.

    One of the things I have disliked about covering HS sports is the difficulty in getting accurate data, stats and records. Makes it almost impossible to rank or compare performances, etc. It would be a huge asset, but it would likely involve a lot of time and hard work to get a database up and running.

    I'm guessing the best chance at doing something like this would be in the large metro school districts, ones with maybe 10 or 20 schools spread among multiple districts. They might be able to pool their resources, pay someone a liveable wage to do something like that. If not in this economic climate, then if/when things improve.
  8. NDub

    NDub Guest

    You're right. The schools' Websites are all so different. Some are good and at least post schedules and maybe results. Some post rosters. But a lot of times you get some crap that says when the season starts and maybe some brief history of the program, which can be accessed in your archive systems.

    Websites with standings, conference standings, rosters, schedules and the like would be awesome.

    I think a SID person could do some of this but there's no doubt a few part-timers (agate?, photographer?, IT flunky?) would have to help with this.
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    And when the parents call to bitch that you're costing their kid a scholarship you can tell them to call the SID.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I would lead the brigade into the streets, and I would even buy the pitchforks and torches, if my school district were to ever waste my tax dollars on such piffle. A funded position dedicated to even more glorification of athletics at the expense of every other worthwhile high school activity. Really now.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Some of the high school ADs make a good dollar and could be expected to do some rudimentary sports information work as part of theiir duty.

    Beyond that, I think the faculty could identify two or three sharp and ambitious students and steer them in the sports information direction for class credit. It would be good if a local college could hold a seminar conducted by their own SID staff on the basics: providing accurate rosters, keeping stats, the process of phoning in scores and details, establishing a basic web presence, etc. Might give a HS kid a head start on a college internship and maybe a career.

    It could be done without a budget hit.
  12. rtse11

    rtse11 Member

    A position that is all-encompassing - publicizing not only athletics, but all school activities (check out the Spring Musical!) and academic pursuits (Math Olympics, Debate Club events, for example) would be a palatable expense in my book.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page