Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Times are changing but you have to adapt

The discussion with Michael Wilbon was genuine and informative.

He reminded us that social media is ruining a lot of experiences — from covering a game to watching Beyoncé on stage.

Millennials are so concerned with looking at their phones than basking in the moment. As reporters, we have to put down the phone and focus on the essence of the story in order to be great story tellers.

So many reporters are fixated on the numbers — rather than looking at a different angle.

“The story of the game often has nothing do with analytics,” he said. “If you want to get ahead of anybody. then learn how to tell a story.”

By writing game stories like closing arguments in the court room can help you think differently. “Tell a game like you are talking to a friend,” he said. Look at what is happening at time outs or when the players are in the locker rooms. The 20s are meant to work hard and not go home right after the game or show.

To know how to craft a story will allow more doors to open. Many journalists don’t know how to write an in-depth story or the skills to report. These are essential tools that can transfer to any media platform.

Wilbon was in the print business for 30 years and then moved to broadcast.’

“If you can command the language to entertain,” he said, “people will find you.”

-Allana J. Barefield

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