Monday, January 29, 2007

Job Openings

As sports media becomes more accepted at schools around the country, the demand for sports media teachers and academicians will increase.
We're happy to pass along the following job openings.

The Oklahoma State position was originally posted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, while the IU opening was on the AEJMC website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Good, the Blog and the Ugly ...

I've been in the process of gathering information for a research study on blogging in sports media and I'd like to pass along some of the preliminary data. It's from a national sample of journalist-bloggers at local sports media such as television stations, newspapers and radio stations. The respondents are primarily reporters, anchors and editors who contribute to a blog site at their media outlets.

The data show a very pessimistic attitude among the respondents regarding blogging in general. Here are some of the questions and response totals:

Blogging makes an important contribution to our sports coverage --48% disagree, 32% agree
Our blogging has increased our audience size -- 74% disagree, 18% agree
Our blog readers also consume our traditional sports content -- 67% disagree, 16% agree
I would still blog, even if I didn't have to -- 49% disagree, 15% agree
Blogging has made me a better sports journalist -- 71% disagree, 12% agree

The qualitative data also indicate some very real concerns about management. Many of the respondents feel "forced" into writing a blog, which consumes extra time for no extra pay. They also worry about the lack of standards for blogs. Several comments touched on the lack of accountability. Despite all this, a plurality of respondents (47%) believed the role of blogging in sports journalism would increase in the future.

Seems like a lot of issues need to be worked out ...

Monday, January 22, 2007

two small items

well, the ad/editorial encroachment has reached dog bites man status. ESPN: The Magazine had another promotional cover jacket this week with Brian Urlacher and LaDanian Tomlinson tackling gigantic bottles of PowerCharger or some such drink. So, this is no longer noteworthy. another sigh.

also, for the first time i heard a sportcaster use the word "freakin'" as an adjective in a play-by-play. it happened during the colts-patriots game on the radio by the colts announcers on that first touchdown/fumble/touchdown play for the patriots. he said something like, "he fumbled the freakin' ball." years of frustration and angst over the patriots' and colts' opposite amounts of good luck were prominent. his partner didn't even comment. wonder if that brok a taboo and we'll be hearing it more often now.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

more ad encroachment

At the risk of being redundant starting the new year, I feel the need in fairness to lambast ESPN for its December 18, 2006, cover and cover jacket. Last I wrote, I skewered The Sporting News for having a Cingular ad as the false cover. ESPN's covers, at right--properly labeled as a "special promotional issue cover jacket"--feature Ricky Bobby (aka Will Ferrell) from the film "Talladega Nights" as its Sports Figure of the Year. The jacket promoted the movie on all four covers with the real ESPN cover and magazine inside.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sports Media in Black and White

It seems appropriate that on MLK Day (or at least close to it) to discuss the representation of Blacks in sports media, and particularly sports journalism. Research in 2006 from RTNDA/Ball State shows minority representation in television holding steady at about 22%, which represents pretty good growth from 17.8% in 1990. The overall minority percentage in the U.S. is 33.6%.

One of the contributors to this blog, Jonathan Weiler, posts on his own site the recent cancellation of ESPN's show "Quite Frankly" with Stephen Smith. Weiler note, "I know the show's ratings are weak, and other corners of the blogosphere are down on Stephen A. for his loud-mouthed shtick. And, he can be grating. But, Smith is doing something really interesting on his show. He has long made an issue of the under-representation of African Americans in sports journalism, and especially among the nation's sports opinion columnists. In light of that reality, he's decided to make his show a platform for what he considers to be some of the talented African American sports writers in America, making several of them regular commentators on his show. Rob Parker, Roy S. Johnson and the social commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson are among the regulars who bring alot to the discussion. Furthermore, Smith is not afraid to call his panelists on their points of view. One consequence of his style is that the more simplistic formulations about race are typically challenged, making for an unusual phenonemon on mainstream television: African Americans debating one another about race (and other issues of social significance). "

A good point, and well made.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

History in the Basement

They don't like to talk about this play around here, but the picture at left shows the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Halloween punt return by Billy Cannon of LSU against Ole Miss in 1959. Cannon's run helped LSU beat the Rebels 7-3 (but very few remember that Ole Miss won a Sugar Bowl rematch 21-0).

The point of all this nostalgia is to tell you about John Miley of Evansville, Indiana. John has a monumental collection of old sports radio and TV broadcasts (including a rare 45-rpm record of Cannon's run) archived in his basement. Some of John's recordings go back to 1933, and his collection is so extensive that it has been profiled in the New York Times and National Public Radio.

John is now 75 years y0ung and looking for a permanent place to put his collection. He has talked to a few museums, including the National Archives and the Library of Congress, but told me on the phone that he would prefer a university with "an outstanding communications department," and especially one that focuses on sports.

He's trying to get the word out about his collection to interested parties, and I told him we'd be happy to publicize his collection here at JSM. If you or your university might be interested in this collection, you can contact John at

Thursday, January 11, 2007

When to Stop Cheering

You might want to be aware of a new book from Brian Carroll, a friend and contributor to JSM. Brian has written When to Stop Cheering: The Black Press, the Black Community and the Integration of Baseball. The book was published in time for the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball.
If you're interested in buying, you can access the book through amazon or Barnes and Noble.

According to Routlege, which publishes the book, "The purpose of the book is to document the close and often conflicted relationship between the black press and black baseball beginning with the first Negro professional league of substance, the Negro National League, which started in 1920, and finishing with the dissolution the Negro American League in 1957. When to Stop the Cheering? examines the multidimensional relationship the black newspapers had with baseball, including their treatment of and relationships with baseball officials, team owners, players and fans. Over time, these relationships changed, resulting in shifts in coverage that could be described as moving from brotherhood to paternalism, then from paternalism to nostalgic tribute and even regret."

Congratulations Brian, but when do we get to see the cover image?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sports Journalism Programs

Some time back I mentioned that it would be nice to have a definitive list of college and university sports journalism programs around the country. Ric Jensen of Northwestern (LA) State University and Texas A&M is in the process of putting together such a list. He passed it along in hopes that I (and some of you) might be able to add, improve or make comments on the list. It's a good start toward creating a data base of what school's are offering, who's doing it, and where you can find it (how's that for getting in the 5 Ws?). I know there are more schools out there, so feel free to post an addition. To find out more information about the programs listed, just click on the links below--

University of Texas
Penn State
University of Maryland
University of Tennessee
Indiana University
Marist College
Morehouse College
Northeastern University
Boston University
Oklahoma State University
Webster University
Ashland University

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Welcome back ...

... and happy 2007! Many of you won't return to teaching/researching for a week or so, but I'm in intersession here at Ole Miss and we started bright and early, 8 a.m. on January 2. So it's time to get the blog cranked back up again.

The second issue of JSM is officially in design and layout, but I received several questions over the holidays (including one on Christmas Eve) related to appropriate material for the journal. If you're considering contributing please keep the following in mind--

1. The paper should primarily focus on media. Any area of sport is acceptable (economics, law, public relations, etc.) and any media (TV, radio, Internet, etc.), but the paper has to be an examination primarily grounded in the media. We often receive papers in which the media in the secondary or tertiary part of the research, and those are not a good fit for JSM. For example, how women have a difficult time working in professional sports media is a primary focus. Examing gender theory by applying it to women in sports media would be more secondary (the latter paper would fit better with the Journal of Sport and Social Issues).

2. It should have practical implications for sports media practitioners. One of the things we're trying to do with JSM is to give it practical value for editors, news directors, PR managers and the like. Ideally, the results of the research should go beyond mere theoretical value. I suppose it would be possible to do a study on the dress and attire of local TV sportscasters, but does anyone really care?

3. Please keep in mind our publishing schedule. As an annual, we publish only in the spring. So if you submit a paper to us today it won't get reviewed until July, an editorial decision won't be made until September and if accepted, it won't be published until 2008. We certainly hope to publish more frequently than once a year, but for now that's our schedule.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask at Have a great 2007 ...