So, what’s everyone been up to this summer? Feel free to weigh in and let folks know what you’ve been up to. I saw on Barbara’s email that Nancy has been having an exciting summer:
Nancy Cohen, NPR reporter who teaches Journalism 393N—Radio Reporting and Podcasting in the Spring semesters, is spending two weeks north of the Arctic Circle as part of an International Polar Year science writers fellowship funded by the National Science Foundation. She is at the Toolik Field Station where scientists are looking at the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystems. The field station is a hard-working community of scientists, in a remote location with few amenities, who work long days, but still manage to have some fun. You can hear her “audio postcard” and an interview with her at these links.
I’ve been busy as well, editing part-time for ESPN’s Web site. ESPN is in the process of launching a “blog network” which will provide a new, innovative approach to beat reporting. ESPN went out and hired beat reporters from major newspapers to blog and cover each NFL division as well as the major conferences in college football. Want to know where jobs are headed in our industry? You don’t have to look far….
There are several exciting things about this initiative — even if you aren’t a sports fan.
In many ways, espn.com is redefining what a beat writer does. No longer will beat writers sit around all day, gazing at their navels, sipping coffee and thinking about what their stories may be. No. They will report news as it happens – offering insight and analysis. Why wait for the next day’s newspaper to deliver today’s news? Using the blog as a delivery tool will redefine beat journalism — it’s going to be fun to watch.
And, with all this hyper talk about hyper-local initiatives, espn.com may leave all those other attempts in the dust. With this initiative, ESPN is taking a national product and bringing it down to the regional and local level. The long-term ramifications for both the journalistic and business models could be huge.