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Sports Journalism Course

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by GregBowers, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. GregBowers

    GregBowers New Member

    My name is Greg Bowers and I am working on developing a sports journalism course - step No. 1 toward building a sports journalism “interest area” here at the Missouri School of Journalism. The school recently adopted a new curriculum which allows students more freedom to choose which interest area they’d like to pursue, so the time seems right to get this going.
    I am surveying the usual suspects, collecting examples and reading related texts. But I also wonder if there are ideas I’m skimming past.
    I know that some of you have taught sports courses and know what works. One question for working journalists might be, "What is it that you wish you knew?"
    Feel free to e-mail me at bowersg@missouri.edu
    And thanks…

    Greg Bowers
    University of Missouri
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I've taught one.

    A friend who taught one did this, and I used it when I was teaching.

    Make the class watch a televised game. Hand them a sheet of quotes, some good, some filled with cliches.

    Then give them an hour to write a 500-word gamer.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    One thing I wish I knew before getting a journalism degree and focussing on sports --- you need to branch out and learn news well. Maybe even first.

    Of course others told me, but I didn't listen. Would have helped me get jobs had I actually listened.
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Salary information.

    ;D :D ;) ;D ;D ;D :eek: :eek: 8) 8) :p :D :)
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    It's not what you wish you knew now, it's what you will wish you knew in five or 10 years.

    Awkward wording, but I hope it gets the point across.

    In 10 years, how will I be receiving information about the Cubs/Pirates game the night before or "reading" a feature on John Wall?

    Webcast? Halogram? Ipod video? Print on paper?

    Figure that out, and you have your class.
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Good point 93. I'm lucky I worked for a newspaper that tought me a lot about the web, my j-school certainly didn't.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Asking questions is a skill that needs to be honed. I'm as guilty as the next guy for asking stupid questions sometimes, but there have been times when I wonder why another reporter is asking the same question 10 times.
  8. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Instead of learning how to write 500 word gamers, students should be learning how to write a gamer in 140 characters or less.
    Seriously, the best advice any college professor ever gave me was if you want to be a sportswriter, you better love the writing more than the sports. Teach the students how to write, how to tell a story, how to ask questions that will produce interesting responses.
    Learning how to shoot and edit video, take photos, produce web content and BLOGGING wouldn't hurt either.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Twitter's 15 minutes have about five minutes left. It won't be around when they graduate.

    I didn't graduate that long ago, but I'm glad I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about MySpace or Friendster protocols.
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Arrange a field trip to the SID's office, or for an SID to come in and talk to the class. Have them talk about what an SID does, how arranging interviews works, pre- and postgame interview procedures, and the etiquette that is required of working media at sporting events.
    Until I started working for my college paper I didn't even know the SID's office existed, nor how seriously the "no cheering" policy is taken. And I still see plenty of people who have no idea how to behave in a pressbox.

    Depending on what sports are in season, you could also send the students out to cover some minor sports (soccer, softball, swimming, baseball, etc.) and write gamers as homework assignments. Have them turn it around for the next morning, or even that night. It'll give them a feel for how things operate before, during and after games, as well as give them experience asking questions and writing on deadline.
    If the SID's office is willing to cooperate on credentials, you could even assign beats to groups of students. Have them write one gamer and one feature per week.
  11. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    If any of these people do get sportswtiting jobs, they're probably going to start out covering high school sports. They'll need to know how to keep stats for football or score a baseball game because there won't be an SID or PR staff feeding them the info.

    You can downlod PDFs of statistician's manuals for several sports from the NCAA website. Use those in addition to whatever other material you'll use.
  12. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Not to veer strongly off course so early, but how does one go about pitching a sports journalism course to a school if it doesn't have one already yet? Has anyone done this?

    My alma mater could desperately use one and I've considered asking the department head, who I'm not particularly close with, about the feasibility of one.
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