Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yet another reason to learn online skills

Newspapers across the country are moving rapidly to online production, as you probably already know. Some newspapers, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, have imploded the traditional news structure, eliminating news and sports departments in favor of departments like 'news and information' and 'enterprise,' according to Sporting News EIC Jeff D'Alessio. The AJC is not the only newspaper re-organizing its news rooms. (Still think the Internet is a fad?) Newspapers are actively seeking reporters with new media skills.

Every college newspaper (and yearbook) should develop a sports blog that addresses individual sports or sports in general on campus. Reporters should post info daily regardless of the print publication schedule. Post all breaking news online. These sports blogs should include photos, breaking news, practice notes, and, sometimes, a short feature or profile. And make sure you include internal links within each item, something that enables readers to dig deeper into issues and news. This additional research will also make you a more informed reporter.

If your news publication does not create a sports blog, develop your own as some college students, like an enterprising reporter at Davidson did for basketball. First, you must learn basic journalism skills, but apply them online as well. Frankly, this is no longer an option.

-30-

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