Covering the London Olympics as a Student Journalist
8.1.12 | Scoring a ticket to cover the Olympics is one of the perks of being a sports or news journalist. This year, a number of colleges have sent student journalists to cover the games alongside seasoned reporters, writes A. Adam Glenn at MediaShift.
The students are tweeting, blogging and shooting photos and video for school-sponsored websites, and some are supplying stories for other news outlets. It’s an opportunity to work under fast-paced deadlines on a global stage, testing out new technologies and the latest multimedia tools, while dealing with the familiar stresses of gaining access to sources and unearthing unique story angles. The prevalence of social media during this Olympics makes for an even more exciting (or stressful) experience.
Glenn provides detailed descriptions of programs underway in London involving Boston University’s College of Communication, Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. Most students lack credentials, but they’ve been able to provide sidebars on local athletes as well as report breaking news and feature stories around London.
Hans Meyer, who teaches online and multimedia journalism at Scripps, told MediaShift the school’s Olympics initiative is “the perfect opportunity for students to take risks. They’ll be in an environment where there are a wealth of stories and reporters. I’m urging them to tell different stories than all their counterparts.” Check out the Scripps London website for a look at the mix of coverage students have produced so far.
“I’m pushing them as much as I can to think differently about their work,” said Meyer. “I really want them to try something they haven’t, such as video if they are primarily a writer, or social media tools, such as Storify.”
University of Oregon got a head start on the games when the school’s Daily Emerald newspaper, which underwent a digital overhaul earlier this year, put together a team of three dozen students to cover the Olympic trials held on the Eugene campus. In a separate MediaShift story, Ryan Frank, Daily Emerald publisher, writes about what students learned from the experience and why print isn’t dead yet.
Plus: For those interested in a downsized look at Olympic Park, check out this replica made from approximately a quarter-million Lego bricks. This low-tech yet highly skilled engineering feat just might rival the original in its complexity.
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