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Student-based portfolio-style sports website idea

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NQLBLQ, Aug 15, 2013.


    NQLBLQ Member

    I'd love some feedback on an idea. I'll take all forms of feedback, too. If you choose to be thoughtful, great! If all you want to do is play Devil's Advocate, I'm listening. Or if you want to troll your way into my soul, feel free.

    I'm working with a few colleagues on developing a place for aspiring high school and college sports journalists – of any kind – to develop their skills and get “real world” experience, and a place to put all of that experience on display for future, prospective employers to see. Right now, this would just be for some of the local kids at the J-school nearby and the handful of high school in the area. But, if this idea works out, we could easily expand coverage to other areas of the country.

    I know a lot of students that work at a college station or a high school newspaper, but they only focus on their own teams. People - they may know - help connect them to other people who – might be - friends of friends. It isn't always a “real world” kind of scenario.

    We are working on a way for students to cover things outside of their comfort zone (ex: A college student covering a high school softball game or a high school student at a college football game). Helping the students – especially college students – learn that they won't be dropped right onto a D-I beat because they wrote a column for the college paper.

    We would then give those students a place to feature this work. The website would have a main page with “top stories” and those stories would be picked by our group of colleagues based on writing skill and/or digital creativity. Students would also have a place, when they apply for a job, to send editors to show they have done more than just covered their college/high school teams. And beyond that each writer would also have a page that featured JUST their work.

    This site isn't about making money. We're not trying to be Bleacher Report or any other “start up” that asks for “hungry” students who want to make nothing for supplying hits to a website that will ultimately fail. Rather, it's about helping students. We would edit and critique the kids work, helping each one improve.

    The end result would be better journalists and students more equipped to hit the ground running when they are hired by some of you to cover 7-man high school football or middle school summer-league baseball.

    We have tossed around the idea of paying writers somehow. I know I earned $10/article at my college paper. Some of the others received up to $20/article. Though we don't have a way, right now, of securing those funds.

    We aren't concerned about paying for webspace as we already have hosting for other purposes with unlimited bandwidth and space. And a domain name is only $20/year which is no big deal.

    With that said, does this sound like something students would want? Would you be more likely to hire someone who had this kind of experience? In your experience would teams be likely to credential / work with students like this? Have we missed anything?

    We're still trying to flesh out some ideas and we are in the very early stages. I thought this might be an appropriate forum to share this idea and get some feedback from people with a potpourri of experiences and a wealth of knowledge.

    Again, any and all responses are welcome.

  2. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Something like this?


    It's a site where a guy has HS kids going out and covering HS games.
  3. Will students want this on a scale needed to succeed? No. Do they need it? Yes.

    NQLBLQ Member

    Yeah, same idea, only expanded to college students as well. We'd like to give students an experience to cover more than just their own high school, though.

    That is one of our concerns. Some students will like the "idea" but then won't follow through with something like this.

    Appreciate the thoughts.
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