Wick Communications

Summer sports coverage

In sports on June 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm

This is a perfect example of expanding the meaning of sports.

I think of our summer sports pages as both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s challenging because the endless flow of local high school sports comes to an abrupt end. It’s an opportunity because I’m always looking to expand what the word “sports” means in our newspapers.

When I was a sports reporter (think the era of those old leather football helmets…), if it didn’t have a ball, the sports editor was likely to turn a blind eye. Girls and women got short shrift, too.

Now I think of sports as including a range of healthy lifestyle pursuits that don’t always end with a winner and a loser. Here on the California coast, surfing comes to mind. In your neck of the woods, running, bicycling, horseshoes, bocce ball, pickleball, handball are the kinds of things you might feature in these slow summer months.

Here’s how I would go about it. Contact, for instance, the local running club. Just have a 15-minute chat with the president. Do they have weekly runs? How did she get started? What interesting stories and people might she suggest in your area? I would be shocked if that didn’t produce a handful of possible story ideas.

In fact, you could just about fill a page with something like this. Add a couple photos and a sidebar along with a box about how to learn more about the club and you have something that is unique to your area and most importantly, meaningful to people who don’t have a kid on the local traveling baseball team.

I know sports is a particular concern for newspapers eschewing AP. The answer, I believe, isn’t to fill that old AP space with something similar, be it box scores directly from mlb.com or national NFL stories. The opportunity lies in giving your community a unique look at itself. …

I feel like I can give you ideas particular to your area if you give me a call. I’m happy to discuss your situation.

Clay

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