Journalists Going the Extra Mile – Literally

Journalists can be very busy, reporting on several different stories a week. The stories they report on can stretch journalist’s knowledge of particular subjects. For example, a journalist may report on a Los Angeles Clippers basketball game and may have played basketball in high school and has been following the team’s summer transactions. But the following day they are asked to report on a fashion runway event and unfortunately this specific journalist doesn’t know much about the fashion industry. He may be able to do some research and get some quotes from the models or judges, but anyone who reads Perez Hilton regularly will know that the journalists did not know the difference from a ruffled blouse to a flared top.  This blog post is focused on the journalists that take the time to not only research, but try to get involved in some way.

I had the opportunity this weekend to go to Florida for a skateboard competition. It was a 26 mile race on longboards and the $17,500 purse attracted the best longboard skaters all over the world.  Craig Davis, a reporter from the Sun Sentinel, interviewed me shortly before the race about how I expected the race to go and similar questions. But Craig wasn’t just at the event to report, he signed up to race along with us! I turned the interview around and asked “How long have you been longboarding?” He answered , “Just a few months”, Craig wanted to get a closer look at his story and to actually see what the athletes had to go through and to get the feel of the race. I remember seeing him on my second lap as I was going back out into the city and he was coming into the park. Although Craig didn’t finish the full 26.2 miles, he now fully appreciated the winning time of 1:40:58 by Jeff Vyain from New York who left with $10,000. Here’s his article from the Sun Sentinel: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-11-06/sports/fl-skateboard-marathon-1107-20101106_1_new-yorkers-show-skateboard-shop-prize-money/2

Here’s a video from the race with permission from Adrenalina. 

If you took the time to read the article you may notice Craig’s insight on the race. It was heartfelt and insightful, and to a fellow competitor it was appreciated. He didn’t use the skate vernacular or the slang you may here some skaters use, and that’s not what’s important. But you could tell he was a believer of the event and knew how impressive some of the winning times were. Wouldn’t you want to read reports and articles from journalists that actually know what they are writing about. Especially with such articles that have specific target audiences like a fashion show, basketball game or skateboard race. What do you think? Do you ever read articles and feel like you know more about the subject then the journalist does? Does that make you stop reading that magazine or article? Do you think it is important for journalists to invest more time into their stories?

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3 Responses to Journalists Going the Extra Mile – Literally

  1. briannabalty says:

    I think that when someone who is writing an article can familiarize themselves with the theme, or the event it gives a more appeal to the article. Not to say that they need ot to be biased, but having knowledge to a subject or showing some interest certainly shows through in someone’s writings!

  2. dannyduran says:

    There have been times when I felt I knew more than a journalist writing an article. It is very important for writers to become familiar with their subject. As you mentioned with Craig’s article, I feel that writers who are involved with what they are writing about are more likely to capture parts of the story that others may overlook. I once read an article about a car I really liked and stopped reading it because I felt the article lack enthusiasm and emotion which many great articles have. I felt the story was something the journalist HAD to write rather than something he wanted to write about.

  3. jrenee21 says:

    I agree. I believe that a journalist should always do their research before interviewing. Its helps because if the person that they are interviewing uses a type of lingo that the journalist have never encountered, the story would not fully develop, and the results you be a product that is not acceptable

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