Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why the Sports Beat is a Window on the World

from Salon

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s comments are a reminder of how sports are a metaphor for social and political life in the United States. For example, in the NFL black players dominate on the field but are grossly underrepresented as head coaches and in other senior positions. The NFL’s teams — with one exception — are all owned by white men. Likewise, white men are grossly over-represented in the National Football League’s media, marketing, and merchandising machine. Women are present largely as cheerleaders, sex objects for the titillation of men. Old racial stereotypes still color how football players are described by sports analysts and fans. Black football players have “natural talent” and “raw physicality”; white football players “work hard” and are “intelligent.” As such, the notion that African-Americans possess the mental acumen necessary to play as a starting quarterback in the National Football League is still a relatively new one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Old Beat Assignment We May Revisit

San Francisco Bay Area highlighted in red on a...
San Francisco Bay Area highlighted in red on a map of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Beat overview:

* Briefly describe an issue on your beat that is national. That is, an issue that - if written about - would run in a publication with nationwide circulation. It might run in a Bay Area publication without being localized or (less likely) in the Foghorn, but the rationale for its having been written is its national appeal.

* Briefly describe an issue on your beat that is local. That is, an issue that - if written about - would run in a Bay Area publication. It might run in the Foghorn without campus sources being added or (less likely) in a national publication, but the rationale for its having been written is its Bay Area appeal.

*Briefly describe an issue on your beat that is USF constrained. That is, an issue that - if written about - would run in the Foghorn. It might run in a Bay Area publication or (less likely) in a national publication, but the rationale for its having been written is its campus appeal.

You will draw on your sources, including the news sites and the Twitter feeds you follow, to provide this overview.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Curious about Beat Etymology and Sick of Google's Amateurism, I Turn to the OED

Sometimes Google lacks authority. I went back to my miniaturized version of the Oxford English Dictionary to find the first use of beat as "the action of the feet upon the ground" and also the first reference to a "course habitually traversed by a watchman, sentinel, or constable on duty." Now I'm satisfied usage moved from cops to reporters and not vice versa. I'm pleased that the sense of the word in both usages is that beat reporting is an exercise in dogged routine, in using up shoe leather.

Jeffrey Toobin, Reporter

English: Patty Hearst at the Hibernia bank, Sa...
English: Patty Hearst at the Hibernia bank, San Francisco, 15 April 1974. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My editor at Doubleday actually suggested Patty Hearst and I said to him, “Well there must be a million books about Patty Hearst,” and he said, “Go check.”
And I actually went and checked and I saw no journalist had looked into any of this in more than 30 years. So I thought, What the heck! It seemed like a good subject and I started  doing what a journalist does. I started trying to track down sources and it turns out there were a lot of people who would talk to me about it.
Did you talk to Patty Hearst about it?
I did not. I tried. If you have the book in front of you, there’s an author’s note at the end, which discusses this at greater length. She refused to talk to me and I tried everything, directly and indirectly.
She basically didn’t want to talk to me for two reasons. One is she’s in her early 60s now. This is very far in the past. She doesn’t want to relive the experience and I certainly want to respect that.
The other reason though . . . She’s given many interviews about this subject, almost exclusively to journalists who know almost nothing about the underlying facts and, I think, she didn’t really want to answer any sort of detailed questions because there’s a lot that, I think, is pretty hard to explain.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brand Journalism - or Should That be in Quotes?

Tiger Woods at Dubai Desert Classic 2001
Tiger Woods at Dubai Desert Classic 2001 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Can't find the original source...

Several athletes are already taking control of their message. Tiger Woods announces all of his news via his website. Athletes take to Derek Jeter’s “The Players’ Tribune” to tell their own story. The most marketable athletes tend to also be the ones actively telling their stories on their digital platforms.
Brands need to grasp the same opportunity to tell their stories to fans in interesting ways. Blasting out press materials in hopes that writers and bloggers will pick it up is – at best – old fashioned, and at worse, increasingly ineffective.
The future of cutting edge media relations strategies are centered on the brand as a storytelling engine; a news outlet in its own right. Forward-thinking brands are taking control of where, when and how they tell their stories online by being more assertive and deliberate in how they use their owned properties as branded destinations.
Brand journalism is a vehicle that organizations, especially those invested within the sports category, must use to reach consumers.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

An article on LinkedIn for journalists.

"Journalists are going to Twitter to stay on top of the news, they go to Facebook to find regular voices, and LinkedIn is where you connect with experts to speak on their fields. As new platforms come out, we're going to see more of that," she said.

But she warns that social networks should not replace tried-and-true methods of reporting.

“What I’ve learned is that nothing replaces the face-to-face meeting,” she said. For a job or story, you still want to meet that hiring manager or source. What social media helps to do is make reaching out to people a bit easier.

Some suggestions for fully exploiting LinkedIn at LinkedIn for Journalists.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Getting a Digital Edge as a Young Journalist

Here's the original article.

If somebody comes along to us and says I'm really switched on, I've got the potential to be a great journalist and they don't have any form of social media interaction at all, no followers, nothing, it is highly suspicious
John Barnes, Incisive Media
"You might have a Twitter account and a Facebook account, but you actually need to use them because you need to have that deep level of understanding," Alison Gow explained.

"If somebody comes along to us and says I'm really switched on, I've got the potential to be a great journalist and they don't have any form of social media interaction at all, no followers, nothing, it is highly suspicious," John Barnes added.

"Simple things like do they have a picture on their account? Do they actually describe what they're doing? Do they have a consistent level of tweeting or commenting? Is it in and around a subject that they're developing an interest in or an expertise on? We will look at those things to get a more general picture of what a person is like.

"Obviously, in my day, it was 'had you worked on the university newspaper or magazine', and now blogs are slightly like that. But any experience that has been gained along the way, whether it's more formal experience through publications at college, whether it's work experience through courses that have taken place at college or holiday jobs, or whether it is actually just things like a really keen interest in a subject and therefore the go-getting nature of writing a blog or having a good social media profile, they're all things that definitely help."

And if you aspire to write for viral content sites such as BuzzFeed, being social media-savvy is obviously vital.

"If you're applying for a community management role and your Twitter feed is only updated once a week or has been left to rot, that's a bad sign", Cate Sevilla said.

"So having all of the usual profiles you expect people to have, having a blog where you talk about this stuff you claim to be interested in or be a specialist in, is really important.

Here's a Mobile-Based College Newspaper

English: Oklahoma State University Logo
English: Oklahoma State University Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here's the link.

The Daily O’Collegian at Oklahoma State University is embarking on a massive reinvention that will push back deadlines, require less work on papers and encourage students to spend more time on their mobile phones.
On the surface, it sounds like every college student's dream. In reality, it is part of a rising movement within college media 2.0 – one which principal architects are determined to see through even while unsure about its eventual success.
Starting this fall, the 119-year-old student newspaper in Stillwater, Okla., will adopt a new format, publishing schedule and digital focus. It is even changing its name, from The Daily O’Collegian to the O’Colly, the pub’s longtime nickname.
The loss of Daily in the nameplate mirrors the shrinking print schedule. Student staffers will be putting out a print edition three times per week instead of five. And these every-other-day issues – appearing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – will be tabloid-sized instead of broadsheet.
“By making this change, we are transitioning from a five-day-a-week newspaper to a 24/7 media company,” said Editor-in-Chief Kyle Hinchey last month in a formal announcement about the changes. “In this digital age, it is imperative we direct more of our attention to our digital audience, and that’s what this step forward will allow us to do.”

Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter?

4:32 PM - 16 Aug 2015

Saturday, August 6, 2016

When Reporters Date Sources: Not a Good Idea

English: Cupid Cupid weather vane Pentlow, Essex.
English: Cupid Cupid weather vane Pentlow, Essex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Not a good idea at all says veteran reporter Jackie MacMullan

“I’m a journalist,’’ she said, “and sometimes I wonder if people know what that means anymore. I know when I became a journalist, you had to be objective. That was the rule. That was what you were supposed to be. Sometimes you really liked somebody and they were lousy at what they do, and you had to be willing to write that they were lousy at what they do. And sometimes, someone could be a real idiot, a real jerk, but perform at a very high level. You had to do that, praise them, as well. It’s impossible to be objective about someone when you’re in a personal relationship.
“Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last time,” MacMullan said. “But it disappoints me nonetheless. I don’t think either one of them would deny that what they did was unprofessional. There’s no place for it in the business. I’m talking about my business. And my business is journalism.”

Angel Rodriguez Brings Digital Sensibility to LA Times Sports Page

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Boxing. This is...
Pictograms of Olympic sports - Boxing. This is unofficial sample picture. Images of official Olympic pictograms for 1948 Summer Olympics and all Summer Olympics since 1964 can be found in corresponding Official Reports. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don't be a dinosaur, he says.

The Times also figured it was going to be a big night, so in the week leading up to the match, it drummed up buzz with blog posts and social media promotion. It also sent two reporters, a columnist and two photographers, to Vegas to cover the fight.
Around noon that day, staffers began live-blogging from Las Vegas, covering what was happening leading up to the fight. They offered round-by-round updates, knowing that not everyone would pay $99 to watch the match.

If You're On the Politics Beat, This is a News Hook

Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood
Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Clint Eastwood gets salty, loves him some Trump, tells PC punks to get off his lawn.