Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is Convergence?

We rightly talk a lot about convergence and multi-media approaches in sports journalism these days, both in the industry and in the classroom. For a lot of instructors it's difficult how to understand and teach such concepts. In large part, that's because the professionals in the industry still haven't figured it out.

Take a recent example involving Tim Griffin, a writer whom I read often because he covers the Big XII for ESPN. Griffin writes a blog for ESPN that he updates several times a day; much of it his own writing and some of it links to other material. It's got a lot of great stuff on it, which is not surprising, because Griffin spent 24 years as a print sports reporter in San Antonio.

But in today's converged/multi-media world Griffin has to be more than a writer. (I'm guessing) ESPN asks him to also provide video material for the blog, such as this entry from Monday. But from a broadcast sports reporter's perspective the video is terrible--bad background, no video highlights, poor audio ... it looks like a YouTube video shot in someone's basement.

It seems like we're still stuck in a era where convergence means tacking on some additional stuff to the main article as an afterthought or, when the video is well produced, it's simply been shoveled over from the broadcast side.

If we're sold on the idea of convergence/multi-media we need to do a better job training print reporters how to do broadcast and vice-versa. And by we, I mean all of us in journalism schools across the country. "We" could also mean a guy like Matt Ellis, someone who spent 20+ years in broadcast television at places like Good Morning America and WBZ in Boston. Matt's got his own PR firm now and is also helping print reporters learn how to tell broadcast stories. (You can contact him at

Guys like Matt have the right idea. I love Tim Griffin's writing ... but Tim, contact him today.


Post a Comment

<< Home