By Jim Luttrell
New York Times
The Northeast region partnered with AWSM for a successful Fall meeting last month at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University. Special shoutout to Loren Nelson, who went above and beyond the call to get our videos posted (http://apsevideo.sportngin.com/page/show/814576-home). Please take some time to check them out. Topics included Data Journalism, The Athlete as Journalist, The Perils of Social Media, and The Five-Tools Journalist. I’m sure you’ll find it informative and rejuvenating. Here are the Top 10 takeaways from our day:
No. 10: The future of journalism is in good hands. The smart, young, ambitious students/reporters/editors who attended and took part in panels made that clear.
No. 9: Jessica Mendoza’s personality and passion were inspiring to the entire audience — men and women, students and much experienced.
No. 8: Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post is an example of someone following his passion and turning it into a job. There is a lesson there for young journalists. Be good at something that you care about and people who do the hiring will find you.
No. 7: With all the responsibilities reporters have while covering an event, it’s crucial to have an organized plan of attack, especially when things happen that you weren’t expecting.
No. 6: Data, video, text, they’re all just ways of telling stories. And good stories and story-telling still matter. It’s not “data journalism;” it’s just journalism. Words and data flow together to produce a contextual story for the reader.
No. 5: “I need to learn Excel.” Even old dogs can learn new tricks, and we shouldn’t be afraid to stretch beyond our comfort zones. Resist change and risk being left behind.
No. 4: APSE needs to partner more often with AWSM, and other groups — NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, etc. As editors, we know about the problems that exist, but hearing about them first-hand and froma different perspective brings a greater understanding of the issues, whatever they are. We knew that social media made life difficult for women sports journalists, but learning how pervasive it has become and that it often includes threats of violence was eye-opening.
No. 3: Women still need a thick skin to make it in our business, but the biggest obstacles to them doing their job are the people in the pressbox, not those in the locker room. Female reporters tend to be ignored – ignored when they break a story, or ignored when talk radio seeks experts. And they’re often challenged or dismissed by fellow reporters on social media.
No. 2: APSE should take a leading role in convincing sports editors and executive editors that they should seek ways to protect their employees from harassment on social media. It should not be left up to the individual reporters. With all that women sports journalists already face on a regular basis, add this to the mix and no young woman is going to want to pursue the career.
And the No. 1 takeaway from the APSE/AWSM Northeast Regional meeting ……… Lunch proved that Montclair State has an OUTSTANDING catering facility!!!!! …… (Hey, we’re journalists!)
Lastly, The Montclarion, the MSU student newspaper, covered the event. http://themontclarion.org/top-sports-journalists-come-to-montclair-state-in-all-day-sports-event/