Credible Sources

I want to look at something in the media that commonly gets overlooked when it comes to writing a good article or giving a good interview. The most important part of every interview/piece of writing is to be factually correct. This sounds like one of the most simple and easy steps when it comes to reporting but it is commonly overlooked and can get you into some serious trouble. You need to always check your facts and then check them again in order to make your work respected and to keep it legitimate. Here are some tips to make sure you always have the best and most reliable reports.

First things first when it comes to making sure you trying to be factually correct is to check your sources before you do anything. A lot of times people fall into the trap of using a source that may not be credible. Your sources should be people that are respected by the team or payer you’re talking about or they should come right from the source directly. Most of the time it’s a good idea to use multiple sources if you do not come from the source correctly.

When trying to get an interview that comes off as credible you should follow the same type of formula. Interview credible sources that would have the best input on whatever story you’re reporting on. It would be a good idea to use multiple people to get all sides of the story. It is a good idea to use all these people to paint a better picture of the story you’re trying to cover.

A lot of times in writing people fall into the trap of using false sources to cover their stories. I have seen people from local newspapers all the way up to ESPN use false sources and get the story wrong. This not only makes you look bad as a reporter but it also makes your company look bad. This could result in you being let go and thus making it difficult for you to receive a new job. Remember once you look bad on paper it’s something that everyone can see for the rest of your career so be sure to double check.

Writing a credible story isn’t hard if you decide to put the work in. Using multiple sources takes a bit longer yes but in the long run is so much more rewarding for your finished product. Why cut corners in something so simple you’re only hurting yourself! Do you have any of your own ideas for making you’re stories more credible? Leave them in the comments below and remember, Never stop reporting!

Social Media and Sports

We all have them (well most of them) and even if we don’t then it’s almost impossible to go on without hearing about them. Of course I’m talking about what rules modern society, social media. Social media has grown exponentially in popularity in the last 10 years and it only seems to be growing. With the constant growth of this platform of course sports have jumped right on board. Sports media has become a staple of social media and it’s important to learn how to use it properly to be the best reporter you can possibly be. Here are some tips on how to make your sports social media pages the best they can be.

First things first when it comes to running a sports social media page it must be kept up to date and be constantly updated. The people following your page follow it for a reason and want their news when it happens. You have to follow whatever your page is about constantly. If you’re covering a specific team, cover their games, keep the people posted with up to date scores for people that may be unable to watch the games. Cover all of the major stories that are going on with the team. Remember you need to let people know everything they need to know and you need to do it quickly.

Say you aren’t covering a specific team, you’ve chosen to center your social media page on a specific sport. This is also a great choice but again comes with some major work! Now when covering an entire sport you have the luxury of being less specific. Sure, you want to cover as much as possible but try to pick and choose your stories. You don’t need to report on everything that happens in the sport but it is a good idea to keep up to date on most major stories. You should use this same broad strategy when it comes to covering individual games as well. There is no need to post about small games that the average fan would have no interest in. It is better to cover a game that the casual fan would enjoy watching there is no need to get to in depth about everything.

The final thing you need to worry about is how you are going to set up your social media page. You need to give it somewhat of a professional look. Try to add a biography that lets people know your credentials. People aren’t going to listen to just some random no body tweeting about sports, that seems to be half of social media as it is! Another key thing to remember for your biography is to keep it short but make it something that catches others attention.

With social media growing so much its something that is unavoidable in the sports world. Whether your future career as a sports writer, broadcaster or anything else, social media will be involved. You need to learn how to use the social media platforms to gain your following. The more people that see you online the more people will look into who you are and exactly what you do. What are some of your favorite social media sites and do you follow any sports media people on them? If so who? Leave some comments and remember, Never stop reporting!

Talk Radio/Podcasts

Talk radio is one of the oldest forms of sports media. The radio has been a way that people have gotten their sports news forever. Now with podcasts becoming more and more popular around the world it seems that sports radio has started an entirely new era. What exactly makes a sports radio show good though? With the growing popularity of this form of sports talk growing here are some tips on how to make your show stick out from all the others.

First things first, before you start your show its obvious what you must do, what is it going to be bout? What are you going to talk about? What type of show are you trying to put on? This all must be decided before you start your first show. First off if you have a sport that you consider yourself an expert on you should probably center on that. You don’t want to get on air and have to think about what you need to talk about every single day it should come natural to you and the show should have a good flow to it. Remember you should be talking at all times dead air is a sin in the radio world!

Now that you’ve decided on what you’re going to talk about its time to decide on the mood of the show. What type of feel do you want your audience to have while they listen to you? Remember it’s a sports show so there’s no need to be too serious about what you’re talking about. Sports are meant to be fun so talking about them should be no different! That being said you want to find a good balance between the humor you try to use and the information you are conveying to your audience. A show that trys to be to silly can steer people away from listening just as much as a show that is too stiff in serious. Finding this balance can be tricky but is crucial when it comes to making your show work.

Another thing to consider is that doing it by yourself will never work. People don’t want to listen to one person talk to themselves for an entire time slot. Getting a cohost can create so many more opportunities for your show to be great. A good back and forth between two people can create the debate that people love to listen to. Now the debate isn’t all you need from having a cohost on your show. If two people constantly disagree this can also become stale and turn your audience away. Be sure to get a good balance between agreeing and disagreeing when it comes to choosing a cohost.

A cohost is important to a shows success but won’t make or break it. That being said what should you do if you can’t find yourself a cohost that works for you? Again, you surely can’t fill all that time up by yourself. A good way to fill time on a radio show is to take calls from your listeners. Having people call in to ask you questions is a great way to fill time and content. Remember people who call into your show think you’re an expert on whatever topic you’re talking about. You should be able to answer all of their questions and provide them with solid feedback.

Coming up with a good show can be tricky and usually doesn’t happen overnight. Many broadcasters try at making a successful show for years before they find something that works for them. Much like everything we talk about in this blog is to not be discouraged if at first you don’t succeed. Keep trying different formulas until you get one that works out for you. What are some sports shows you like to listen to? Do they follow similar formats like the ones I’ve listed above? Leave your answers in the comment section and remember, never stop reporting!

Beat Writing

One thing I haven’t really touched on in all of my blogs is one of the most interesting writing aspects in all of sports reporting, beat writing. You may be asking what exactly is beat writing you may ask? Well beat writing is popular in all aspects of journalism as well as sports. Beat writing is when one focuses solely on one particular aspect of a sport, whether that be a specific team, player, or even a coach. Beat writers are very popular in sports reporting and are commonly where die-hard fans get their up to date info on all of their favorite teams.

Let’s first breakdown the act of focusing on just a specific team when it comes to beat writing. To me this is the simplest form. You need to focus on all things that happen with this team. You need to inform the reader on all aspects of everything that is going on. Beat writers for specific teams focus on all the players and report everything. For this type of writing you need to get as close to the team as possible. You need interviews, you must attend all of the games, you need to speak to the coaches. Remember fans look at specific beat writers for all of the news on their teams year-round.

Now you can also look at beat writing by covering a specific player. You may be asking yourself “wouldn’t covering the team be enough for me to learn about all the players?”, Well yes and no. Some people want to learn everything about star players in their respected sports. People want to know anything and everything there is to know about specific players. Star players leave teams all the time and its your job to get the inside scoop as to why they want to leave or why they want to stay. Beat writers are also much more popular when it comes to younger players such as players in high school or college. These players usually have a lot of decisions to make on their future and it’s your job to keep people up to date.

These same principles of beat writing can apply to coaches. Coaches just like players change where they go all the time so people need to be caught up on them. Another big aspect for covering a specific coach is getting all of their tendencies down. Talk about what type of coach they are and just how they do their job.

Remember covering a specific team player or coach shouldn’t limit you. These things should be something that you can excel in but you should always branch out into other endeavors. Beat writing is always something to get started in but writers that truly succeed can write about everything! Wat are some topics you would find interesting to beat write about? Leave some comments below and remember never stop reporting!

The Offseason

It’s that time of the year again where sports seem to take a backseat to other social events. The NBA and NHL playoffs have just some to a close and the NFL season is still far away. Aside from mid-season baseball (which usually lacks big time story line) there really isn’t much to talk or write about. That being said what is a sports reporter to do? You may think this is a dull time for sports reporters but on the contrary this time is more important than ever.

Just because the seasons are on the down it does not mean the reporting should be. This is the time where the real journalists are made. Covering the off seasons of sports or the down time of the sports is of much importance in the reporting field.

Sure anyone can write about a team who just won a championship or about a player who just won an MVP award. It takes someone with great knowledge and talent to keep people interested in a down time. Covering the off seasons of sports gets people excited for the upcoming season. You need to keep people interested and try to catch their attention while things are at their lowest point.

The trick to covering sports during their offseason or during their mid-season slump is to try and find any stories you possibly can. Is there a trade happening? Has a player gotten hurt? Is a coach implementing a new strategy? These are all things that fans want to know and it’s up to you to keep them up to date.

Remember there’s not always going to be major breaking news to report. The truly good reporters however will be able to always keep people posted on any topic. The off season is just as important as the playoffs and should not be overlooked. What are some off season topics that you have seen that catch your interest? Comment them below and remember never stop reporting!

Interviews

Interviews, we see them on every single news platform almost daily. Whether its some random person on the news or it’s the president of the United states it’s a huge part of the news we can’t deny that. This goes the same with sports reporting interviews give us a better picture of what’s going on in the wonderful world of sports. But like all forms of the media sports reports come in all different forms. In this blog I want to focus on a few different types and some tips on how to perfect each of them.

The first and probably most common in the world of sports media is the post-game interview. Reporters going up to athlete after a game is a staple in the world of sports. But how do you make the post-game interview stick out from the rest? Well the first major key is to focus on both sides. No need to focus on just the winning team tell both sides of the story.

Now that were looking at the two sides of the story when need to look at some questions that we should ask. Now the questions will vary for both sides. Obviously for the winning team you want to learn everything you can about how they won the game or contest. Now going with the losing side is a bit trickier. You want to get the most out of the person you’re interviewing but at the same time you to try not to offend. Everyone hates to lose so you can’t imagine the person you’re speaking to is too happy you need to realize this and ask much more laid back questions. Try not to pressure them or he interview may end abruptly.

Now that we’ve looked at the post-game interviews we have to look at of course the face to face interviews. This interview is usually a much more prestigious interview and requires more preparation and lucky for you this interview will be announced in advance and you’ll be able to get ready for it. You need to learn everything there is to know about the person you’re interviewing. You don’t want to go in there blindsided and you need to be interactive with them. Lear about the person, talk about their family, what they do outside of sports and how they are as a person.

Another huge advantage and important aspect of an interview that is planned beforehand is you get to pick the questions that you ask. You need to look at the person as a whole. You need to remember this, youre trying to show the world what type of person this man or woman is outside of sports. What are they like at home? Why did they get into sports? What drives them? These are a few questions that can help you to get things started when face to face with an athlete.

The last thing to remember when it comes to these interviews is DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. These are people just like me and you. There is no need for you to get worked up over anything. Some of the greatest reporters on earth have said that a major key to interviews is to just go at it and to show no fear.

Do you think you would have what it take to interview you’re favorite athlete? What would be some things you could do to prevent yourself from becoming nervous? Comment and subscribe below and stay up with my daily blog posts and remember, Keep asking questions and keep reporting!

Sports Writing

We’ve talked a lot of the various points of sports media in my last few blogs. I’ve covered how topics from how to get more involved and even broke down the differences of television and radio. Now I would like to focus on the aspect of writing when it comes to sports media.

Writing is different for everyone person that decides to take it up. No matter what format is followed everyone has their own individual writing style and everyone’s style is different. Writing when it comes to sports is a unique thing in itself as you have to convey a message while still staying entertaining to the people you’re writing for. Let’s take a look at some ways to do just that when writing your articles.

The thing is when it comes to writing a sports article you need to do is make sure to tell both sides of the story. A lot of people seem to focus on one side of the story when writing an article on any form of sports game, and the side that is focused on is usually the winning side. While yes, the winning side is usually the more glamorous part of the story it is important to look at the losing side as well. It can be just as important to tell the story of why somebody lost as opposed to why someone else won.

Now focusing on the losing side is important but that part is of course only half the story and something that should not be your articles whole story. Focusing on the winning team should be paid more attention and you should talk about why that particular team or person won. Was there a play that changed the game completely? What was the turning point that pushed the team over the edge? Did one player do something to take over the game? Be sure to answer these questions when writing. Be sure to tell the whole story! Think of it this way, act as if you were the only one to watch the contest and need to let everyone else, who has no idea what happened, exactly how things went down.

Now that you have told you’re story and told BOTH sides of it you need to add something everyone wants to read… the interviews! Every good sports article has quotes and lots of them. They add to your story and they give the reader an inside feel from the people who actually participated in the games themselves. Just like telling the story of the game you need interviews from members of both teams. Ask both sides what they did or didn’t do that had an impact on the outcome of the contest.

Writing can be hard we all know that. However, if we look at all major anchors on high ranking sports stations almost all of them started as writers somewhere. Writing is one of the most major aspects of sports media, even the ones at the top still make writing a huge part of their everyday journey. Comment below if you have any sites that you enjoy the writing on or comment who your favorite writers in the sports world are and remember don’t get discouraged some of the best in the business failed only to gain success!

TV vs. Radio

In my first two blogs I’ve gone over some of the keys to sports reporting. I spoke on some tactics to help you stick out in a crowd and I also spoke briefly on how it is important to never quit on what you want to do regardless of failures. Today I want to focus on choosing a field that fits you best when talking about reporting. You need to decide if you would be best suited for television, radio or the possibility of making a splash in both.

When it comes to sports reporting one thing you cannot avoid is having to write about the events that you attend. Writing comes with the business so it’s something you’ll have to deal with whether you want to focus on television or the radio. Aside from that and a few other similarities there are many different aspects that impact both fields in separate ways.

First things first you need to look at all of the different positions there are when it comes to reporting sports on television and the radio. You need to look at the off-air positions and see if they interest you. Remember the aspect of getting the program you’re reporting for on the air is just as important as the people that are seen on the broadcast. Producers and directors are commonly overlooked when it comes to a production and this may be one of the biggest oversights in media. Even working on the sidelines is something that can help you to get into that top position in that spotlight that you have been trying for.

Now that we have looked at the behind the scenes aspects of both fields let’s talk about the thing that everyone looks to become, the on air positions. Though both fields (radio and television) contain similar speaking positions they also have many many differences. Let’s focus on how to convey you’re event on both of the outlets.

Let’s start with radio because ive found this to be the more difficult of the two. Obviously, the biggest issue with radio is that the viewer can’t see what you are looking at. Because of this you need to paint a much more vivid picture. You need to describe everything that happens at all times. You need to be speaking constantly. In some cases, talking to much can ruin a broadcast but here it only helps the picture you’re trying to create.

Now television is a bit of an easier outlet but nonetheless takes some work and you need to speak with distinction and convey a vivid picture of what’s happening around you. However, the thing about television that’s most obvious is that, They’re watching it on television! You obviously still need to be descriptive but the picture you paint can be less vivid and you can let the action speak for itself.

All forms of media outlets require a large amount of work and it takes a committed person to be good at it. But with practice anything can become possible. What kind of position do you think would best fit you in the field of sports media? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe!

Perseverance

In my first blog we discussed some tips to help better separate yourself in the field of broadcast media. But to use these tips you first need to make a splash in the industry, but how can this be done? Well first things first lets talk about going out and getting yourself involved.

The most important part of sports media is going out and making yourself noticed. Many people get discouraged when they are deterred from doing exactly what they set out to do inn the field of sports media. So many people think its as easy as going out there and being put exactly where they want to be. This however is the farthest thing from the case. Work needs to be put in at the lower levels in order to make a name for yourself to rise up to where you need to be.

The biggest and most important step is to except whatever job you’re given. If you want to jump right into being say a play by play announcer for football expect there to be hundreds others with the same idea as you. If you don’t get where you want to be don’t be discouraged! If you get put doing a sport you don’t enjoy doing something unfamiliar to you then you need to attack it with everything you have. People will notice this and begin to see you as a hard worker and you’re likely to gain more of a following amongst your colleagues.

People are to common to quit when they don’t get what they want in this industry. Once they have been rejected from their top job. You need to realize that the more that you know about everything the more likely you are to progress in the field. As I mentioned earlier if youre trying to do something particular in a field there are likely many others vying for the same position. Having a wide skill set can set you apart and even give you the opportunity to get more money at more positions with a wider range of skills.

The biggest thing I want to convey in this blog is to keep people from getting discouraged in this field. People need to realize the vast number of people in this job all go for the same jobs. Keep your head up and learn as much as possible. As corny as the saying is “knowledge is power”, and that is none more true in this business today. Stay positive and never give up on anything!

Reporter’s Tips From Reporters

This is my first post on my blog and I hope you enjoy everything we have to offer here at the Reporters Report!

Our main focus here is to inform you on everything going on in the world of reporting. We will focus on everything from new developments in the business, major stories going on in the world of reporting today and even some tips on how to succeed in the reporting world. For our first post were going to look at how to survive in world of media that so many people have trouble thriving in.

We’re going through a time of change in the world of sports media. There is no longer a clear cut front runner at the lead of everything. With top stations like ESPN losing talent to other leading stations what keeps people relevant in a constantly changing industry? Well to understand exactly what it takes let’s look at a few tips on how to separate yourself from others all striving to achieve the same goal as you are. You also need to compete with the likes of ex athletes who have decided to hang up their jerseys and make their way into the other side of the business.

If we look at the top of the industry today we can see a few things in common with everyone at the top. Most of them are very knowledgeable in their respected spot of expertise. Above all having great knowledge on what you’re talking about can save you I the business. Some of the top people in this business are where they are today because they worked hard for years gaining a vast knowledge on what they speak on and write about today. A lengthy knowledge on any subject will go a long way and gain you a lot of respect.

As knowledge is very important we see that now more and more it’s not all that matters. As the industry changes if knowledge isn’t valued as much then what else is there? Well for some people they have gained prominence in this business by simply using shock value to make their way to the top. People like Skip Bayless have climbed to the top of the media by making claims that get people talking. Using claims that may not be very popular or maybe even absurd to some people is something that is sure to catch other attention. Remember all press is good press, isn’t that what they say? In the world of sports media if you’re being talked about by others then you must be doing something right.

The final thing I’d like to talk on that can help anyone to gain success in this business is the absolute need to stand out. You have to look a there are thousands of people all looking to get the same job. You need a way to stand out, something that people will notice and recognize above all other people. We look at the people who have made it onto television today the all have their own niche. Whether they act ridiculously dress distinctively (a vibrant suit or a wacky tie) the only way to be noticed is to stand out in a crowd.

Much work goes into becoming a successful sports reporter and I have only listed a few things that will help in becoming noticed. I hope you have enjoyed our first post and will tune in for more on all things sports reporting! Remember just because you’re done playing doesn’t mean that the dream has ended.

Kevin Bohan