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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sports Journalism not all Swishes and Homeruns

Consider writing about high school sports in Savannah, Ga. or driving to Florida for a job only to find out the job was not yours. Think about jumping from job to job for the better part of two decades before finding success at your tenth job, working for The New York Times. Writer Karen Crouse felt the heat of sports journalism growing in popularity and described her whirlwind career to a group of students attending the CMA Spring Journalism Convention.

One thing Crouse made a point to say consistently is that while going to all the games for free and talking to all the players is amazing, the dedication and toll it takes on your personal life is certainly not for everyone. The amount of work a sports journalist puts in is surprisingly intense.

“It is very difficult to have a personal life on this job,” Crouse said. “The nature of this job makes it so you spend more time with the team or athlete than you do with your family.”

It is not all negative. Crouse has been all over the world and has covered all sorts of events. She has interviewed athletes ranging the gamut, from Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to Green Bay Packer Super Bowl champion Aaron Rodgers. The job gives you the ability to interview the athletes and find out information that the average person would not know.

It was Crouse who finally cracked former New York Jets wide receiver Laveranues Cole’s secret about why he did not talk to the media. It was also Crouse who, in eighth grade, wrote an interview so inspirational that it helped propel a USA swimmer onto the Olympic team. The point to be made here is that Crouse has seen and done it all.

Sports writing is something that seems easy to do; but to become a great sports writer one needs to look beyond the obvious. It is not just about statistics.  It’s also a way to personally connect to the athletes. By connecting with them on a human level first, an athlete may be more inclined to tell you something more private and personal than they otherwise would.

“The ones who won’t talk to the media are usually the ones who have the best stories,” Crouse said. “See who interacts with who, and who has what in their locker. That’s where the stories come from.”