From the beginning I noticed it wasn’t so much what was taught in the classroom but how you applied it. Working at an actual commercial radio station not only helped strengthen my resume but gave me valued, hands on experience that I needed to have as I prepared for the working world after school. Working for ESPN 850 WRUF allowed me (while still being on campus) to do live sports updates during broadcasts, interviews with players/coaches and an opportunity to be on the radio myself.
What I admired and learned also from the J-school was the idea and understanding that the times are changing as in how people receive and consume information. Newspapers for examples are dying yet their online counterparts are skyrocketing with the aid of social media (while social media is on the rise regardless.)
The college really emphasized the idea of convergence with other broadcasting mediums to show in today’s day and age you have to adapt and learn as many things as you can if you want to thrive in this business. With how the college conducts itself, I have no doubt as to why it ranks as one of the best in the country and helps add to the plan of making UF a top ten institution in general.
The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, a former reporter for The New Yorker was very unique and interesting. It is based around one idea, explaining how a small idea within a small group of people can become social epidemic or a much larger idea/concept that is known, understood, and believed my many.
Gladwell uses three “rules” to explain to the reader what “the tipping point” actually is. He starts off with the Law of the Few. The law is a concept which posits that there are only a few people who can really cause a tip in the social atmosphere: Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen. The Maven is someone who pays attention to all the small details and small tidbits of information that can be found in life. People rely on the Maven because of all the specific information he/she knows about a variety of topics.
The Salesman is someone who is very persuasive and can convince you to support an idea or thought by making you realize it can affect you personally. And lastly is the Connector, which does exactly what it sounds like it does, makes connections. The Connector is someone who knows a large number of people and tries to become friends with everyone they meet. Their ability to meet and talk to people makes them very influential.
The next rule is The Stickiness Factor. Gladwell uses kids shows like Blues Clues and Sesame Street as examples to explain this idea. He basically says the Stickiness Factor means an idea is so popular and memorable that it naturally just sticks in people’s minds, and there are certain ways to portray information so that people are more likely to remember it. For example, Sesame Street teaches children simple concepts about the alphabet or math that they will use and never forget.
Gladwell’s last rule is the Power of Context. In order to explain this concept Gladwell uses the Bernie Goetz subway shooting as an example. Crime was becoming a big problem on New York City, especially on the subways and Goetz shot four kids who tried to mug him on a subway. Many people viewed Goetz as a hero instead of accepting the fact that he all also committed a crime himself. Goetz was found not guilty of all charges except one for an illegal possession of firearms. In summation, the context of situation can greatly influence the way people perceive it.
All in all I thought the book was very interesting and a good, insightful read. It made me really think about what makes a social trend or popular thought become so well known and supported.
If you thought my blog was a poor attempt as far as what not to do for journalism then here are some links to some of my fellow classmates who are actually exceptional at it.
If I was a betting man, I would put it all on Tori Petry as someone who would be very successful in the field of sports reporting. She’s very knowledgeable and thorough at what she does and really disproves the stereotype that sports is an all boy’s club.
Christina Lob is another that I believe will make a top notch sports reporter one day. Just like Tori, she knows her stuff and is very good at letting you know about it.
While Lauren Rautenkranz doesn’t strike me much as a person who would pursue a long term career path in sports reporting, I wouldn’t be too shocked if she was good at. Everything else that she is doing right now would be worth to check out.
I’ve well exceeded my quota for nice, positive, up lifting comments for one day. In all seriousness check out what these young, professional broadcasting women are doing right now because I’m sure you’ll be seeing them later on.
I’m not a big proponent of talking about myself but seeing how this is for a grade, I guess I’ll come up with something. While I hate talking about myself (I mean, isn’t that what a résumé is for?!) I do enjoy talking about others especially when it comes to sports. Now with that being said, many I’m sure would imagine I just enjoy discussing potential match ups between teams, fantasy pools and other standard topics like that but truth be told I despise all of that. There’s nothing wrong with all that, its just not my forte plus I think its a big waste of time. Call me pompous , self absorbed or even douchey, it doesn’t bother me (no really, go ahead I think its funny.) Things like perspective, legality and race I believe have more substance and depth for a better quality discussion. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the stupid and fun sports stories that are out there. Of course, I’m sure the people out there that love the match ups and fantasy topics think my mindset is silly and not beneficial but everyone has to do what they think will help separate themselves.
Football is the gift that keeps on giving. How great is it that just earlier this week PBS released the documentary “League of Denial” that took an in depth look (2 hours to be exact) on how for the last 20 years the NFL has used its power and influence to cover the connection between football and concussions. ESPN was initially on board with the production the last few years but backed out without any specific reason in the last month. Its hits like these that make you wonder how it took us so long to not believe the two were synonymous.
Who says covering sports isn’t hard?! Here’s a cameraman suffering a severe case of the stanky leg a.k.a. his leg fell asleep. I don’t blame him for letting this happen, he was stuck shooting a preseason Bulls-Pacers game. Poor guy