Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reporter honored for youth sports coverage

Bob Holher, former Red Sox beat reporter at The Boston Globe who now works as an investigative reporter in the paper's sports department, tonight will receive the Curley Center's inaugural award for outstanding coverage of youth sports. Holher's series, which focused on the abysmal conditions for student athletes in Boston city schools, has made a difference -- sparking intervention from the public and private sectors to improve sports programs and academic success rates for athletes.
The Curley Center has launched the award in recognition of the growing spotlight on prep sports -- and in recognition of the important journalistic work on a beat that is often overlooked (although highly visible in every sports section in the country).
We hope youth sports coverage doesn't fall into the trap of putting a glaring spotlight on young phenoms (the Lebron effect) while failing to examine the serious issues involved in the use of public funds and resources and the health issues involved in high-level competition by young athletes. Hohler's series is an example of reporting on prep sports at its finest.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Television: Medium of choice for sports fans

Glenn Enoch, vice president of integrated marketing research at ESPN, presented interesting data from ESPN’s research operation during a special sports symposium Thursday at the Broadcast Education Association’s annual meeting. The research confirms that the rise of new media platforms haven’t dethroned television. Among the most interesting ideas he presented:

  • Sports fans are heavier users of all media than are non-sports fans.
  • TV is still king for sports fans.
  • The higher the household income, the more time spent with sports television. For instance, in households with more than $125K in annual income, about 15% of time with television is with sports programming.
  • The older the sports fan, the more time spent with sports television.
  • Men are far more likely to watch sports programming alone than are women.

The last point on this list was one of the few comments Enoch made during the presentation about gender differences related to sports consumption. Gender and race are two identity factors that influence consumption patterns. – M. Hardin

Ethical issues in sports reporting: A primer

Penn State honors student Ryan Wood has launched a blog about ethical issues in sports journalism. Available at the Web site is a radio documentary he produced that includes interviews with sports journalists and academics. It's a great overview of the topic.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another national basketball championship

Although it would be impossible to tell based on media coverage, competitive college basketball didn't finish with the highly publicized games last week for Duke and Butler (men's), and UConn and Stanford (women's).
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association national championships -- including women's college championship games -- wrapped up yesterday in Colorado. The Alabama Crimson Tide handily beat the University of Illinois, coached by former Tide player (and Paralympian) Stephanie Wheeler.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Search begins for the newest Nike Field Reporter

Nike launched the 2010 Nike Field Reporter contest this week and is seeking 18-24 year olds with "crazy charisma and sports savvy." Contestants are asked to write an essay explaining what makes them perfect for the job. The winner and next NFR will travel the world interviewing top athletes, artists, musicians, and designers, documenting all of her experiences through videos, photos, and blog postings. Her 8-month Nike contract will provide her with opportunities that will bolster her resume and give her a head start in a competitive job market. Entry rules and information about the contest can be found on the Nike Women Web site. The deadline for entry is April 30, 2010.