Chapter 16: Sports Reporting

Adapted by
Dr. Mike Downing from
News Reporting and
Eighth Edition
Be prepared
Read for background (back issues; Internet)
Talk to sources; establish a relationship
Talk to others who have covered your beat
Understand your editor’s expectations
Learn the law as it relates to your beat (e.g. drug
• Learn about governing bodies (NFLPA, NCAA, etc.)
• Like a news story, a good sports story should
reveal who, what, when, where, why, and how:
• Who won the game?
• What was the score?
• When did the game occur?
• Where did they play?
• Why did these teams meet (Conference game?
Division game? Playoff game?)
• How was the game won or lost?
• Like a good features story, a good sports story
goes beyond the 5Ws and H and considers the
“people” angle.
• Coach Smith won his 100th football game last
• Pitching on only two days rest, Gabriel Rivera
pitched a one-hitter yesterday.
• The East High School water polo team has
made the playoffs for the first time in five years.
• Despite losing their top scorer, Parkland won its
third game in a row.
• Players
• Coaches
• Administrators
• Trainers
• Intelligent Fans
• Equipment Managers
• Alumni
• Former Players
• Maintain your distance from the people
you cover.
• Keep readers in mind.
• Read your email and answer questions
that the readers have.
• Keep your eyes and ears open.
• The final score is only part of the sports
• Readers want description, so they can
re-live the event (or learn about parts of
the game they might have missed).
• Readers want analysis: Why did the team
lose? What changes are being considered?
• Questions?
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