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1 PREPARING SPORTS REPORTERS OF THE FUTURE: 21 ST CENTURY SPORTS R EPORTING PRACTICES AND CURRICULU MS By MATTHEW R. CRETUL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE R EQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Matthew R. Cretul
3 T o my wife, who pushed me ( )
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would l ike to thank my committee chair Dr. Wayne Wanta, and committee member Dr. Debbie Treise for agreeing to be part of this madness. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. Johanna Cleary for keeping me on track and checking up on me from time to time Than ks go to all the people who took time out to help me, agreed to be interviewed and kept me sane. I have to t hank God for making dreams come true Special thanks to the good doctor, Dr. Andy Selepak for corralling all my wayward thoughts and tangents, and for proofreading my neophyte academic w riting Finally, ve had to keep up with almost my entire life.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Purpose of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 Curriculums for the 21st Century ................................ ................................ ............ 11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 14 Proliferation of Sports in Media ................................ ................................ ............... 14 Sports and Culture ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 16 Sports and Society ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 18 Popularity of Sports ................................ ................................ ................................ 20 New Century, New Media ................................ ................................ ....................... 23 Media Literacy ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 26 Media Convergence ................................ ................................ ................................ 29 Hiring Practices in Convergence ................................ ................................ ............. 32 Convergence and Media Literacy in Curriculum ................................ ..................... 35 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 37 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 39 RQ 1 In depth Interviews ................................ ................................ ........................ 39 RQ 2 Curriculum Analysis ................................ ................................ ....................... 41 RQ 3 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 43 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 45 RQ1 What Skills are Employers Seeking? ................................ ........................... 46 RQ2 What Practices are Taught in Sports Journalism Programs? ....................... 52 RQ3 Are Sports Reporters Being Taught What They Need? ............................... 55 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 58 Program Differences ................................ ................................ ............................... 58 Practical Implications ................................ ................................ .............................. 59 Practical implications for Educational Institutions ................................ ............. 60
6 6 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 62 Limitations of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ 63 Future Research ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 63 APPENDIX RESPONDENT EMAIL ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 65 INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ............................ 66 CODING SHEET ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 67 NIELSEN 2012 2013 DESIGNATED MARKET AREAS 150 210 ................................ 69 LIS T OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 74 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 79
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Title of Individual Interviewed (N=10) ................................ ................................ 46 4 2 Name of Programs Offered (N=15) ................................ ................................ ... 53 4 3 Type of Programs Offered (N=15) ................................ ................................ ..... 54 4 4 Components of Curriculums (N=15) ................................ ................................ 57
8 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication PREPARING SPORTS REPORTERS OF THE FUTURE: 21 ST CENTURY SPORTS REPORTING PRACTICES AND CURRICULU MS By Matthew R. Cretul May 2013 Chair: Wayne Wanta Major : Mass Communication This exploratory study attempts to provide both individuals and academic institutions an changing digital world. Through a curriculum analysis of current undergraduate sport s reporting programs in the United States, this study identifies areas where sports reporters are being trained such as traditional journalism courses as well as courses that increase media literacy Through a series of in depth interviews with individuals in small market television stations responsible for hiring sports reporters, this study identifies skills employers expect of sports reporters such as basic grammar, multimedia, and time management skills Finally, this study compares data from the curric ulum analysis with data obtained during in depth interviews to determine what changes must be made to ensure sports reporters of the 21 st Century are equipped to handle a fast paced and rapidly evolving workplace.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION As the media indu stry and the journalism profession transition into the 21 st Century, no clear path exists to ensure a seamless conversion from the one medium ti me US Sportswriter of the Year and Sports Illustrated Senior beginning of bett er things for sports journalism (Nieman Reports ) In essence, Deford was admitting the te st Century model of linear sports reporting. No longer does a sports reporter simply attend a game or match, collect stats and conduct interviews after the game, and then return to a newsro media infused world, the sports multimedia journalist must use multiple forms of communication, including social media, to pass along information. Onlin e resources, including microblogging sites such as Twitter, and social media pages such as Facebook, are providing multimedia sports journalists an ever increasing number of platforms through which to distribute content to eagerly awaiting media consumers (Steele, 2009). Before a game or match updates injury reports, and previews underlying storylines. Once the game or match begins, sports multimedia journalists use a mobile device to connect to the Internet giving them the ability to offer instant analysis of scores, statistics, and more. After the game, the sports multimedia journalist can post quotes and reactions from coaches and
10 players immediately to Twitter or Facebook, rather than having to wa it hours to announce the final score as was the case with 20 th Century sports reporters. Along with posting breaking information and tweeting in real time, sports multimedia journalists also have the ability to interact with fans from all over the world. Pictures can immediately be uploaded to the Internet, and new facts and details can be passed along or updated as they are received. journalist, regardless of specialization to tak e on the roles of interviewer, editor, producer, reporter, cameraman, and media consultant, all while preparing and repurposing content for multiple media platforms. For example, according to Guskin, Rosenstiel, and Moore (2011), budget cuts forced the Am erican Broadcasting Company (ABC) to reduce its staff by approximately 25% in 2010. With fewer personnel, the the number of segments reported by digital journalists indiv iduals who report, film and edit their ow one man journalists can operate at a much lower cost than traditional crews of three or four people (Ne ws Investment section, para. 3). Purpose of Study This study looks to fil antiquated way of teaching aspiring sports journalists 20 th Century journalism practices while ignoring the need to teach 21 st Century multimedia journalism techniques. This study will address the spo rts reporting profession and attempt to demonstrate the need for academia in the undergraduate area to reconfigure curriculum to prepare students
11 for the world of emerging media, and specifically to adjust curriculum to deliver students the skills sought a fter by those responsible for hiring multimedia sports journalists. In order to determine what constitutes sufficient academic curriculums to prepare students, this examination will review curriculum creation practices, as well as the incorporation of eme rging technologies into current curriculum among universities with strong reporting histories such as Northwestern, the University of Florida, the University of Missouri, Ohio University, and u niversities such as Oklahoma State University, which have incor porated 21st Century multimedia journalism techniques into their existing sports reporting courses. This study will also detail trends in technology adoption among educators to better prepare students for careers in the modern newsroom in addition to curr iculums and classes, such as emerging media sites as well as editing software such as Adobe Audition, Final Cut, and Wordpress. Finally, in depth interviews with individuals in markets where recent college graduates could expect a first job should show whe re current curriculum is lacking in educating future sports reporters. Curriculums for the 21 st Century As more media platforms become available in the 21 st Century, the need to understand the differences and nuances between them is crucial. Researchers a nd scholars have termed this understanding of is not a new concept. Previous studies have defined the concept of media literacy in various ways (Potter, 1998; Denski, 1994; & Ploghoft & Anderson, 1979), and rese arch has shown curriculums that include instruction on media literacy increase media awareness and literacy among students, which better prepares future journalists for the
12 field (Porter, 1998; Denski, 1995; National Communication, 1996; & Media Education Lab, 2012). During a synopsis of a national conference regarding television and children, application of information regardless of medium or presentation for some pu rposeful information from various media, a theme Hobbs echoes by defining the concept of e messages In the mid 1990s, The Center for Media Literacy began offering guidance and curriculum recommendations to educate and inform people on the necessity of understanding and interpreting messages sent via multip le media platforms (Center for Media Literacy: Beyond Blame, 1995). As media platforms increased in the 21 st Century, several individuals and advocacy groups offered an update of the concept (Hobbs, 2001; Adams & Hamm, 2011; National Association for Media Literacy Education, n.d.; & Media Literacy Project, n.d.). Emerging media as a tool for distribution of information is also providing journalists with competition as traditional sports journalists must not only understand, but compete in the ever growing world of online and social media. While media literacy is one of the foundations where all journalists, regardless of specialization must start building a successful career in sports journalism requires more than an understanding of multiple media platfo rms; it also requires the ability to understand messages
13 transmitted via multiple platforms. Sports journalists must also develop skills apart from media literacy if they intend to be successful in the field.
14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Proliferation of Sports in Media On any form of media, any time of day, multiple outlets will offer a plethora of sports related content. The Entertainment and Sports Network, or ESPN for short, is one of many such outlets. The now Disney owned company was founded in 1979 and boasts an impressive number of media properties. According to its website, the empire networks plus HD, radio, digital platforms & more), ESPN Audio, ESPN.com, other spo rt & market specific sites, ESPN3, ESPN The Magazine, Mobile ESPN, within the ESPN family, and even some of the more well known on air personalities, has an original Facebook a nd Twitter account, in addition to the account operated under the ESPN name. With an array of properties based solely on providing sports content and commentary, ESPN provides a practical example of what Mean & Halone (2010) described when they referred to embedded and interconnected with how we define ourselves, the cultures we inhabit, and the language we use to achieve both, sport remains not just relevant but highly Much like ESPN, Fox (and its parent company, News Corporation) possesses an extensive association of sports media properties on multiple platforms as well. Included in their holdings are over 15 television channels focusing on numerous areas of sports such as Fox Sports, FOX College Sports, Fox Soccer, FOX Sports Enterprises, and FOX Sports Net which all fall under the Fox brand directly. Properties not containing
15 the Fox brand (but still owned by News Corp) include the Big Ten Network, Fuel TV, Speed, and a television channel devoted almost entirely to statistical sports information: STATS. As sports are a truly global endeavor, Fox also owns channels that are language specific such as Fox Deportes, channels that are country specific such as FOX Sports Australia, and ch annels that are regional specific such as Fox Sports Florida. In addition to the television channels, Fox also operates FOX Sports radio, and FOXSports.com, giving the company a presence on multiple platforms. Understanding the need for global as well as r egional coverage, each entity such as Fox Sports Florida operates its own website offering unique, original content focusing on the (sometimes) multiple collegiate and professional sports teams within the region (News Corporation website, 2012). As with ES PN, each individual Fox entity possesses a unique Twitter account, as well as a Facebook page. ESPN and Fox are not the only broadcast networks to operate a sports only network. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) launched its own all sports channe l in 2012 with NBC Sports. As with ESPN and Fox, NBC did not limit its holding to one medium. It launched NBC Sports Radio in 2012, and operates NBCSports.com as well (NBC Sports, 2012). Having numerous media holdings on multiple platforms allowed NBC to broadcast 2012 Summer Olympic events simultaneously, and reach nearly two thirds of the U.S. population with the London Games, even though the content was hours old due to the five hour time difference between London and the American East Coast, and resul ts were easily located on the Internet before they aired. Although the Olympic results were widely known prior to airing, according to James (2012):
16 More than 210 million Americans have watched a portion of the Games. The network attracted an average of ab out 32 million viewers a night in prime time though the time difference with London meant NBC was showing highlights from events that occurred long before the telecast (LA Times, para 2). Sports and Culture Frey and Eitzen (1991) wrote sports can not on ly be considered a mirror of a culture as a whole, but also an understanding that sports hold a lofty position in the hierarchical continuum of many cultures religion, commands the mystique, the nostalgia, the romantic ideational cultural fixation that sport does. No other activity so paradoxically combines the serious with the This sentiment was on display during qualify ing for the 1970 World Cup, where Honduras and El Salvador were pitted against each other. The two teams had met earlier in the year, and each team had won a match. The final match was hotly contested, as were a number of political issues between the two n ations. According to between the countries had reached a boiling point, and the games merely ignited a ernational border dispute between the two nations, which led to around 300,000 Salvadorian refugees seeking asylum in the much larger Honduras, and the resulting military actions bet ween the countries resulted in 3 ,000 deaths and twice as many wounded (Di uguid, 1969; & Haydon, 1997). soccer match became the impetus for violence between two countries. Egypt and
17 Algeria met in 2009 during World Cup Qualifying. Egypt defeated Algeria to allow both teams to advance to the next round, where Algeria defeated Egypt, eliminating the Egyptian team and according to the Economist (2009): Flaring tempers were inflamed by nationalism, stoked by reckless reporting, and fanned by politicians. The upshot was one of the nastier football melees since a real war broke out after a match between Honduras and El Salvador, which started with scuffles between fans and ended in a four day conflict that left 3,000 dead. Violence and retribution as a result o f sports is not limited to countries. In 1994, Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar accidentally deflected a shot into his own goal during a World Cup match against the United States. His actions not only caused the United States to win the match and ad vance in the tournament, they also knocked his heavily favored Colombian team out of contention for the World Cup. Escobar was shot 12 times in his hometown days later, and eyewitness accounts of the incident leave little doubt as to the motive behind the murder. According to an unidentified witness, they Buffalo News 1994). Sports can also be used as a tool of control. Former head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, and son of deceased dictator Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein was known for his brutally harsh treatment of Iraqi sports personnel. If Hussein was unhappy with a rs were not the only ones arrested. Team managers, coaches, doctors and even sports reporters say they were imprisoned for no apparent reason other than to slake Uday's wrath at the outcome of a Just as sports have negatively mirrored society, they also hold the power to uplift and reflect more positive aspects of a culture or society. Sports have played a part in
18 historical and world changing events, and they also play into everyday life. Mean and Halone contend : The centrality and ev eryday positioning of sport as a social and cognitive framework is apparent in its routine usage as a common metaphoric resource (reflected in the plethora of sporting idioms and metaphors in many languages). Sport is thus a common resource that is widely deployed to aid and guide understanding, meaning making, and audience interpretations; a resource that is also drawn on to sell and promote Sports as cultural resource can be an agent of hegemony; but sports, often the very same sport, can be counter (2011, p. 562). This thought is evident in the United States as Major League Baseball integrated their teams with players of all color beginning in 1946 with Jackie Robinson seven years before the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed school segregation, and more than a decade before the civil rights movement became the focus of the nation's Baseball have become not only a small part of American history, but of sports history story of the family, women's history, black history sub disciplines within a great effort to rediscover the texture of Sports and Society The relevancy of sports to American society is perhaps best witnessed as a forum where equality is earned based on performance (Frey & Eitzen, 1991). While the participants in a game may not share a commonality in race, creed, or socio economic standing outside the sports arena, Washington and Karen (2001) found:
19 As is true of its linkage t o many institutions in the United States, social class is perceived as being only marginally relevant to sports. In fact, the sports sphere with its obvious meritocratic orientation prides itself on the degree to which one's social origins are of no impor t on the field, court, or course (p. 189). This same belief was one of the reasons t he Aspen Institute expanded to examine sports. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC with a to fos ter leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues 2012) The Institute announced the formation of its Sports & Society Program, a vehicle for convening leaders and foster ing dialogue around topics of critical importance. The program will help inspire solutions to major issues so that sport can best serve the public interest The program is run by Emmy award winning journalist, ESPN contributor, and University of Florida graduate Tom Farrey. Members include Chair of the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Tom McMillen, Oregon State Head Basketball Coach Craig Robinson, and Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women's Sports Foundatio n and Olympic champion swimmer Nancy Hogshead Makar, among others (Aspen Institute, 2012) The Sports & Society Program holds seminars, talks, and events, hosted by a wide variety of public figures from across the sports, academic, and professional spectr um. Alumni include the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee Scott Blackmun ; columnist/commentator for outlets such as USA Today ABC News, and NPR Christine Brennan ; the f ounder o f Amer I Can and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Jim Brown ; the founder and Director of the Brain Injury Research Institute Julian Bailes, Jr. ; Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Arne Duncan ; the CEO of the US Anti
20 Doping Agency Travis Tygart ; and numerous other highly successful and influential individuals (Aspen Institute, 2012) Through symposiums, events, and panel discussions, the program engages in dialogue on a range of topics, such as a discussion of Title IX, and identifying problems the needs of the most underserved populati on in sports, girls from low In one of its more wide raging events, the Sports & Society Program held n ine panels over four days that considered the role of the Olympic movement in promoting sport activity, the co ncussion crisis in football, the uncertain state of college sports, the ethical code of extreme competition, and the role of sports in society, among other topics (Aspen Institute, 2012). Popularity of Sports Yet another cultural and societal impact of sp orts is that televised sporting events are consistently among the most highly rated broadcasts, and have been for some time (Caesar, 1999; Morales, 2011; Otto, Metz, & Ensmenger, 2011). During the week of November 5, 2012, a week in the middle of the Natio the second place program in prime time broadcast viewing. The same holds true for season NFL matchup between t he Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints was the highest rated program that same week, drawing more than 12 million viewers (Nielsen, 2012). According to Ariens (2012), the 2012 Super Bowl was the most watched program in TV history drawing 111.3 Million viewers for NBC. In fact, t he only non sporting event in the top five most watched TV programs in American history was number four on the list; the series finale of M A S H which drew 106 million viewers for CBS in 1983.
21 With four out of the top five most watched programs in American television advertisers have taken notice. At major sporting events such as the National Football Bowl, companies pay to be seen. During the 2012 Super Bowl, advertisers spent upwards of three and a half to four million dollars for a thirty second spot (Associated Press, 2012). s the variety of ways in a dditional to the revenue spent attending games. Today, there is much more to the experience than sitting in an arena or in a stadium. While ad vertisers are willing to spend millions, fans are spending billions to see their teams play. In 2002, the I nternet was still growing, and not yet the medium to intake sports content as it is today, yet spectators spent 12.4 billion dollars simply traveling to see sporting events (between pari mutuel, Internet and legal gambling combined) and less than half of the 26 billion spectators spent on tickets, premium seats, and on site merchandise sales spending money too. Over 2 billion d ollars were spent on mag azines, video games, and Journal, 2002). In addition to dollars, fans spend time consuming sports beyond watching games live. Fantasy sports, where users pick and choose player s from different actual sports
22 are popular, and only getting more so as the Internet allows for faster and easier access to users. Sports fans choosing to participate in fantasy games such as football, basketball, and baseball take time out of their day to latest player news, some of which takes place while they are working. In fact, Guarini (2012) found employers in the US may have lost about six and a half billion dollars in lost productivity to fantasy football alone in 2012 Fans spent 5.2 hours a week, or just over an hour a workday participating in fantasy games in 2012 which works out to roughly half a billion dollars each wee k to a company. Crupi (2011) noted that on average 27 million Americans play fantasy football each year and between services that host fantasy football, television packages that allow viewers to see every point scored during the football season, and entit ies that promote and offer advice on fantasy football, nearly five billion dollars of additional revenue is generated from fantasy football. Even before the Internet became a primary means by which billions of dollars could be spent, hours wasted, teams followed, and corporations like Disney, Fox and NBC created sports media empires, Frey and Eitzen (1991) recognized the power of media in sports: Media are in a sense the creators of culture, conveying information about what is acceptable and unacceptable. Thus, the media reinforce established order and value consensus by virtue of the presentation, by commentary and pictures of sport events. These media presentations can influence our ideas about sport, our perceptions of gender, race, social relations, an d proper behaviors, and our adherence to certain values (p. 507) With sports so deeply rooted in the everyday fabric of American life, and with the power the media holds, it is imperative for those pursu ing a career covering the sports world as
23 sports jou rnalists to be familiar with the multitude of media in which they will relay content to an eager and willing audience already interacting with their favorite teams and players through a variety of media New Century, New Media While it is widely thought digital platforms that can access the Internet have meant a reduction of readers for traditional print sources such as newspapers, Cass (2010) noted this ewspapers have no problem attracting readers online; th e Newspaper Association of America reports that its members' websites draw 74 million unique visitors per month Sports content no doubt is driving some unique visitors to newspaper websites, but with the amount of information generated only increa sing as more people have access to the Internet; it is becoming harder for original content produced by reporters to stand out. Cass (2010) contends one way sports content can attract and retain visitors is through developing niche coverage, such as in de pth reporting on sports team s, athletes, or a particular industry thus creating unique content difficult to duplicate not original content audiences are looking for where they can find information first by going onl ine and using social media. Anecdotally, Kindred (2010) described a pool of baseball beat writers frantically attempting to be the first to post the starting lineup during a regular season baseball game: The reporters race against one another to thumb the night's lineup into their handheld devices. They know that if they don't get the lineup into the ether immediately they will start to hear lamentations from their Twitter followers, their Facebook friends, and that crowd of fanatics who want the lineup no w and know they can get it now and won't be happy until the reporters satisfy, if only momentarily, their lust for information (p.51)
24 To further illustrate this point, Rainie and Fox (2012) found in early 2012, 23% of smart phone users had used their mobi le phone in the previous 30 days to look up a score of a sporting event (Pew Research, 2012) As the Internet grew in popularity as a tool for sports reporting during the early argued ports specifically concluding especially important topic is whether individuals who publish only on the internet are question is particularly relevant in the d ebate between traditional sports journalists who have moved online from legacy companies but maintain a presence in the printed realm, and the relatively new but rapidly growing t outlet is a self n Internet Web site, with writings typically organized in reverse chronological order, with links to other Web sites and commentary on their contents by the blogger. Blogs can be devo ted to one topic or no topic at all prevalent, but plentiful. According to Lenhart and Fox (2006), s ports are one of the top three categories of blogging, along with politics and entertainment. Blogge rs who operate their own websites independent of established media outlets may have extensive knowledge about a particular subject, conference, sport, team, etc. However, unlike formally trained journalists producing content for an established media outlet bloggers may not have been educated in all aspects of the journalistic profession such as writing, ethical decision making, fact checking, and with the onslaught on digital media media literacy.
25 In addition to blogging, there is also tremendous potenti al for growth for social media sites such as Twitter which are fast becoming a vital tool for multimedia sports journalists. For example, p opular ESPN reporter Adam Schefter has nearly two million followers (Twitter, 2012), and uses his account to provide original content via tweets, and includes links to content found outside Twitter. Schefter uses Twitter as a medium to relay time sensitive and breaking information quickly, and routinely follows the information up with links to more in depth stories he wr ites where he is able to provide additional information and commentary. followers are less than half of the amount of his employer, ESPN. As of March 2013 t he official ESPN account had over six million followers (Twitter, 201 3 ), and is used to update fans on breaking sports news, provide broadcast listings for the multiple ESPN outlets, and acts as a content aggregator for the wide range of sports journalists employed by ESPN. To provide a comparison of the sports media entit ies mentioned in the previous section, FOX Sports twitter account has just over 28 5 thousand follower s, and NBC Sports has nearly 162 thousand as of March 2013 (Twitter, 2013 ). This is possible because the Internet allows for a seemingly unlimited flow o f information from many sources. But, with no filter in place to ensure the legitimacy of either the information or source, 21 st Century sports journalists, and journalists as a whole, must deal with a dilemma not faced by their 20 th Century counterparts, namely, what information to trust. Therefore, while a growing number of media properties are providing content on multiple platforms, media literacy becomes crucial for sports journalists to be effective in the digital world.
26 Media Literacy Deciphering fa ct from rumor and speculation, deciding which websites to trust, and knowing whether information gained through social media is legitimate are issues multimedia sports journalists are faced with daily in the digital age. Potter (2010) found A great d eal has been written about media literacy, producing a literature that is already exceptionally robust and varied. And there is reason to believe that this literature will continue to grow as media use increases Yet before the Internet became th e information sharing behemoth it is today, convergence of various communication will be a driving force behind many of these transformations. These new technologies and their application represent a new territory a cross which many futu re struggles will be individuals who wish to pursue a career in any field of multimedia journalism. The problem articulated by Gardner (2007) is tha t the term media literacy possesses a fluidity which makes it difficult for scholars to form a consensus definition What media literacy means in practical terms depends greatly on the circumstances in which it is being taught and the teacher' s range of knowledge, interests, skills, and resources for teaching it arguing definitions of media literacy differed by who was offering the explanation, but noted while there were differences, they all shared som ll definitions emphasize specific knowledge, awareness, and rationality, that is, cognitive processing of information. Most focus on critical evaluation of messages, whereas some includ
27 Offe ring another definition, Potter (1998) defined media literacy as a perspective from which we expose ourselves to the media and interpret the meanings of th e 5) Babad, Peer, and Hobbs ( 2012) state d that involves f media language. Beyond that, students must learn to become critical viewers, aware of the various influences of the media, and inoculated against undue influence But i n addition to multiple d The study of media literacy is highly interdisciplinary, using the tools and methods of sociology, psychology, political theory, gender and race studies, as well as cultural studies, art, and aesthetics (p.212) in suppor t, edia literacy programs have included a focus on critical analysis of newspapers and television news, print and TV advertising, magazines, popular music, contemporary film, and participatory media such as video games and the Int ernet Significantly, as exposure to different forms of media increases, the ability to interpret these messages must increase as well, or as Potter (1998) states: People operating at lower levels of media literacy have a weak, limited perspective identify inaccuracies, to sort through controversies, to appreciate irony or satire, or to develop a broad, yet personal view of the world (p. 5). A low level of media literacy, combined with th e failure to ensure correct information is being published has the potential to lead to detrimental situations for multimedia sports journalists and their audience such as factual errors in content. Kindred (2010) points out that while the Internet presen he paradoxical truth, however, is that such thoroughness is the beating heart of the revolution that is necessary in the journalism business
28 The prevalence of factual errors in content rushed to producti on has led many athletes to forgo interaction with traditional media outlets and interviews, in favor of taking their messages straight to the public via such means as Twitter Facebook or personal websites, thus eliminating multimedia sports journalists a information (Cook, 2010). This however means sports reporters must be more engaged and aware of multiple platforms to do their job. Examples of athletes bypassing reporters through social media include the now retired professional baske tball player has 6.8 million Twitter followers as of March 2013 (Twitter, 201 3 ). how it can be used to negate sports journalists as gatekeepers when, in 2011, he used the micro blogging platform to announce his retirement after 19 years in the NBA (Washington Post, 2012). Rather than hold a press conference and inviting multiple his Twitter profile stating his intenti on to call it quits (YouTube, 2011). In addition to uses it as a platform to connect with his fans, as well as advertise the multitude of products he endorses. just one example of athletes taking their messages directly to fans, and building themselves into brands using multiple forms of media. Pegoraro (2010) noted the multitudes of athletes exist who have embraced Twitter as a communication tool such as: Dwigh t Howard, and Paul Pierce of the NBA; tennis player Andy Roddick; golfer Stewart Cink; and Larry Fitzgerald of the National Football League.
29 Another athlete Pegoraro (2010) mentioned was Chad Johnson. The former NFL player has fully embraced online media, including Twitter. He had nearly 5 million followers as of March 2013 (Twitter, 2013 ), but surname, which he has legally changed from Johnson to Ochocinco, and back to Johnson, was used as a marketing tool to promote himself His jersey number was 85, and his Twitter handle is registered as @ochocinco (Twitter, 2012). Now retired from playing, but not from the public eye, Johnson runs his own website, the Ochocinco News Network (OCNN), and has been featured on multiple realit y based cable shows. While athletes gaining popularity is nothing new, athletes having a direct link to fans, and the ability to remove sports journalists from the equation is new It is highly unlikely the migration of athletes to T witter, Facebook, and o ther forms of media where they have direct interaction with fans will halt in the foreseeable future However, if multimedia sports journalists continue to increase their level of media literacy; they will be better prepared to understand how these moves c an be beneficial rather than detrimental to the field of multimedia sports reporting Media Convergence In Building a Case for Convergence Journalism Curriculum Kraepun and Criado (2005) assert ed A truly converged curriculum requires the blending of tw o very different cultures and approaches print and broadcast. Add the Internet to the mix and one has a stew of different terms, writing formulas, technologies, visual needs, conceptual approaches, etc p. 48). Solomon (2011) pointed out this blending i s necessary for re working in a variety of newsroom jobs, more and more are freelancing in positions that combine their skills and fulfill the 12).
30 Jenkins (2006) proposed a definition of convergence, which much like media literacy, indicates there are also varying opinions on what the term means as well According to Jenkins (2006), convergence is the: Flow of content across multiple media pl atforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technologica speaking and what they think they are talking about (pp. 2 3). And while most scholars agree there is a need to define media convergence, there is a disagreement on exactly what this means. roblem with contemporary definitions of multiplatform newswork. They tend to be overly broad and, thus, ambiguous On specific area where this occurs is the re purposing of content for multiple platforms. Depending on who is responsible for the actual physical re purposing of content could affect the definition of multimedia journalist, as well as the idea of convergence. For example, a producer who converts original content created by someone else from one form of media to another is not considered a multimedia journalist; however a reporter who re purposes their own content for different forms of media may fall under the multimedia category (Massey, 2010). Alexander (2008) offered another insight on convergence arguing it may not simply be a blending of different media platforms, but a union of the organic and the mechanic: Indeed, the richest convergence point in media convergence may be between person and machine, the human and the technological, as the mixing and conv erging of media offers yet more sophisticated, potentially more nuanced forms of communication, representation, community building, and reflection on our own subjectivity, on what it means to be a communicating person in a techno culture (p. 5)
31 The Assoc iation for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) has association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media is: T o promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to cultivate the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, a nd to defend and maintain freedom of communication in an effort to achieve better professional practice and a better informed public (AEJMC, 2012). the topic of converged Tanner and Duhe (2005) believe d convergence is not a trend, but a shift in the it is evident that the entire media industry is experienci ng seismic changes due to media convergen adoption of new technology Meanwhile, Erdal (2011) defined convergence as two separate but intersectional lines, each one a continuum containing equal parts of the term: Convergence journalism can be visualized as containing a vertical and horizontal axis. The vertical axis represents the production process from start to finish, and is linked to the established concept of multi skilling. The horizontal axis is made up by the different media platforms on which a news story can be realized: print, radio, television, web and mobile media, and can be called the cross media axis of convergence journalism (p. 221). In addition to possessing a core understanding of sports, which can be thought of as sports literacy, this blend of approa ches must be learned in order to build media literacy, something universities offering curriculum in sports reporting have begun to do. Du and Thornburg (2011) add for future research t o continue to study how journalism educators may keep up with this
32 new world of journalism and prepare their students to enter the ever changing be media literate, tha t is, to understand that certain forms of media are politically or Lowrey, Daniels, and Becker (2005) added, Such changes are spurred by a perceived need to reshape skills in the rising labor force so they reflect changin Hiring Practices in Convergence demands of new graduate s have progressed as well, and multimedia experience has formed the bulk of the se new demands. As Massey (2010) discovered Technological changes, shifts in news consumption habits and audience demographics, fickle economic conditions, and more have put n ewspapers and TV stations under pressure to do more with fewer reporters has become firmly entrenched as a tool for media outlets to disseminate content T elevision stations have found th e Internet useful in reaching their local audience. Fo r example, as Cremedas and Lysak, ( 2011) found the web is a primary news presentation tool in local television reso urces are dedicated to that purpose. But many other local newsroom managers find they must perform In most cases, station managers are the ones watching the balance, but it is the reporters who they believe should be working with the content. For example, Huang and expect a reporter to be fully multi skilled,
33 covering a story from production (shoot, report, track, and edit) to distribution (publish on air and on the Web) In essence, e mployers responsible for hiring recent college graduates in reporting are looking for an amalgamation of experience in multiple areas, such as a readiness to work in mult iple platforms including audio, video and print; some multimedia experience; an unde rstanding of the Internet, and how it is measured in terms of ratings ; and a high digital IQ (Solomon, 2011). For sports multimedia journalists to be successful post college, they consequently must learn both print and broadc ast skills to re purpose conte nt for the multiple platforms provided by the Internet. The skill to re purpose content is crucial to post college success. Cremedas and Lysak, ( 2011) studied media outlets incorporating the Internet into operations and found that local television statio n newsrooms have integrated the web into their daily news and information operations. News stations recognize that their viewers want local web site and web content must be a pr iority The necessity and ability to work on multiple platforms is something previous In the early 1990s, computer skills were barely considered as important and the journalism graduate is walking into a field that is constantly changing because of technology and convergence (p.60). se necessary skills, Huang et al. (2006) noted the se skills should not be ignored by older generations of journalists, or time for mid career professionals to learn multipla tf orm reporting skills, and that future
34 Lysak, (2011) argue d however, training on new media platforms cannot come at the expense of traditional journalism curriculum. I n fact, i n their survey of what local were sought, though just as required were skills such as critical thinking, clarity of news writing, videography, and editing (Cre medas and Lysak, 2011). Now multimedia skills on the production level are a necessity. Brown and Collins would appear that students will find themselve s at a competitive disadvantag e for most jobs if they At the same time, Russial and Santana (2011) found employers favor workers who oss platform skills, but it Organizations such as the AEJMC have shed light on the need for schools to incorporate specific curriculum focusing on the growing trend of converg ence in media (Sarachan, 2011; & Du & Thornburg, 2011). For this reason, Sarachan (2011) contends research on curriculum must focus on multiple areas if the research is to be of any assistance, stating that "C hoices regarding which specific content to tea ch, how to assess students, and how to select software and operating system are better made with exposure to others' experiences
35 Convergence and Media Literacy in Curriculum Academic institutions are still struggling with how to teach both prop er storytelling techniques along side incorporating newer procedures for effectively understanding these new platforms. Du and Thornburg (2011) note d the gap between journalism education and journalism practice has been a focus of debate in the field. Prof essional journalists chide journalism professors for attempting to teach students about what they see as a trade best learned in its practice This is not the only disconnect between teaching and practical experience. Mindy McAdams, the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of Florida argues, "There are very, very few journalism educators who know how to do much of anything online. And many of those who act like they know something are in fact using techniques and approache s that are far, far out of date (Stewart, 2007). Du and Thornburg (2011) found four years later McAdams statement holds true, schools need to do more to teach in classes the visual and management elements of online journalism: web usability, HTM L, Photoshop, staff organization, video production, user interface design, and information/graphic design (p.227) Yet another challenge is finding an instructional method effectively teaching media literacy. Auman and Lillie (2008) point ed out that altho ugh Journalism instructors experiment with structures and approaches to teaching students how to present stories in varying media platforms and prepare them for our media converged world but add not all experimentations are successful. Accordin g to Du and Thornburg (2011), j ournalism educators instead seem to still emphasize the teaching of critical thinking and the fundamentals of good reporting over the teaching of technical skills
36 Instead, Huang et al. (2006) noted academic instit utions must find a way to combine both schools of thought in curriculum: F uture journalists need multiplatform reporting training while in school. Learning critical thinking is important for students, but multimedia writing and production skills are equal ly important when it comes to delivering a thoroughly reasoned, well told and balanced story to the public in the multitude of ways readers want to access news today (p.94) While many view the need for media convergence in curriculum as a necessity, Tanne r and Duhe (2005) assert not everyone shares such a positive view, and contend that Some believe the merger of jobs in converged newsrooms may either diminish the quali Cremedas and Lysak (2011) contend it is a skill necessary for those looking to begin or improve their career in reporting Koltay (2011) found media literacy is imperative for anyone using multiple forms of me both in primary, secondary and higher education either on its own, or presumably with more likelihood Lacina (2005) adds, media literacy can be taught different ways information is presented by the media, teachers encourag ing students to better understand biases and why certain information is not incl (p.118). Schwartz (2001) details how teaching media literacy has the ability to affect many areas of student learning where of propaganda, challenge stereotypes in literature -print and nonprint -nurt ure a greater appreciation of the power of language, and promote reading, writing, and disciplined
37 Olsen and Pollard (2004) note d another aspect of teaching media literacy : the s ocial effects aspect of digitalization With more interactions taking place online, less are taking place in person. Aspects of each interaction are different, requiring their own set of protocols and norms, which need s to be considered in media literacy education as well as t he ability of content to be available on demand as a democratizing phenomenon without precedence in history. Davis (2009) added, digital media literacy in the 21 st creating Web sites and online profiles, to partic ipating in social networking and continued One of the most basic s trands of media literacy emphasizes the skills and Research Questions As educators and educational institut ions plan their approach to incorporating media related curriculum, it is necessary to examine the congruency between academic teaching in a classroom setting and practical application before formulating an approach to teaching multimedia sports journalism that will be most effective at teaching a skill set and preparing students for a competitive job market. This study proposes to address these issues to better understand convergence media and sports curriculum at the university level to prepare students f or a career as 21 st Century sports reporters. To understand the skills desired by media companies for their employees, the following research question will be explored: RQ1 What professional skills are those responsible for hiring recent college gradu ates in the field of multimedia sports journalism looking for in new hires ? RQ2 What practices are being taught in sports journalism courses?
38 Finally, to better understand if colleges are doing an effective job of preparing students for the field of spo rts reporting, the following research question will be addressed to compare skills being taught and skills being sought to make recent college graduates hirable in the job market: RQ3 Are the courses and curriculums being taught in undergraduate sports m edia, reporting, and journalism themed teaching the skills required by those offering employment in the field of multimedia sports journalism?
39 CHAPTER 3 M ETHODOLOGY Using in depth int erviews of media personnel and curriculum analyse s of sports repor ting p rograms at universities across the United States, this exploratory study seeks to better understand what students are being taught in sports reporting curriculum s and the extent to which the courses taught match the qualifications sought by small market te levision stations. Only television stations providing original multimedia reporting on their website will be examined. For the purpose of this study and based on the findings of Cremedas and Lysak (2011), multimedia sports reporting will be considered cr eating and delivering original content for both television broadcasts as well as producing or re purposing content on a digital platform in this case the Internet RQ 1 In depth Interviews In depth interviews with individuals responsible for hiring spo rts journalists at small market stations will be conducted in order to gain insight on the importance of multimedia skills to those in charge of media stations Because hiring practices vary between markets and titles vary among stations, program directors news directors, station managers, and those responsible for hiring new employees will be sought out for interview s In depth interviews were selected to allow respondents to elaborate on questions, which would not be possible using other research methods such as survey s (Cook, 2008). This consideration is supported by Crouch and McKenzie (2006) who Creating a population and sample to examine is a necessary component of any research. Creating a sample from which to choose stations and markets was selected
40 Columbia Uni versity has a long and distinguished history in the journalism field, consistently ranking among the top journalism schools in the country (Fees, 2011). its School of Journalism informs site visitors that recent graduates can expect to begin their career in Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMA) 150 and higher, as students who graduate with a degree in reporting generally begin their careers in smaller market stations where they gain the experience necessary to move to larger ma rkets. For this reason, this study will concentrate on stations in markets 150 and higher based on the 2012 2013 DMA Estimates (Nielsen, 2012) where recent graduates are most likely to begin their careers ( Appendix D ) General Managers or those in charg e of hiring for stations meet ing the definition of this study will be emailed in February of 201 3 asking if they would be willing to participate in this study (Appendix A). In depth interviews will be conducted during February 2013 via telephone during wo rking hours using an interview guide to gauge beliefs on hiring practices, aspects of multimedia work, and opinions on current reporting curriculum (Appendix B). All interviews will be conducted by the researcher. All participants will be provided a consen t form prior to the interviews and asked to verbally provide consent to be interviewed (Appendix E ). The informed consent agreement was compensation will be provided for participa ting in the study, although participants will be told they will be able to see the finished study upon request. Participants will be asked how long they have been in their present position as hiring managers to measure if those in positions for less time place more emphasis on
41 aspects of multimedia reporting versus those who have held their positions for some time to gain insight into whether newer hiring managers place a greater premium on multimedia content. They will also be asked about other similar po sitions held to determine their understanding of hiring practices within the field of broadcast television, as well as asked their educational background to judge familiarity with potential journalism/reporting curriculum offered. As previously discussed terms such as convergence and media literacy have differing definitions depending on who is asked. While this study has proposed a definition of multimedia skills, participants will be asked their individual definition of multimedia skills to get a bette r understanding of what hiring managers consider multimedia. Finally, participants will be asked about hiring practices to provide insight which will be used to assist in answering RQ 1 What professional skills are those responsible for hiring recent col lege graduates in the field of multimedia sports journalism looking for in new hires ? Once all in depth interviews have been conducted, the responses on which individual m ultimedia skills are most desired will be used in conjunction with analyzing current curriculum in order to answer RQ 3 Are the courses and curriculums being taught in undergraduate sports media, reporting, and journalism themed teaching the skills required by those offering employment in the field of multimedia sports journalism? RQ 2 Cu rriculum Analysis Cook (2008) contends interviews should be paired with other forms of data collection to be most effective. Therefore, in addition to the in depth interviews, curriculum of four year American academic institutions offering either a n underg raduate
42 major, minor, concentration, specialization, or certificate program in the field of sports reporting sports media, or sports journalism will be examined using content analysis The academic institutions chosen for this study are programs accredite d by The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). i s the agency responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications progra ms in colleges and univers d ). The organization accredits 109 institutions around the world, but only institutions in the United States will be chosen for this survey. The curriculu m analysis will focus on each program to assess if it meet s the criteria me ntioned previously by Kraepun and Criado (2005) as truly converged curriculum. The analysis will attempt to seek out and identify if methods of information gathering, disseminating, and traditional journalistic and reportage elements are being taught to st udents in sports journalism. Results will be compared to newer forms of using the Internet for digital information gathering, digital dissemination, and digital journalistic and reportage elements as mentioned by Du and Thornburg (2011) to appraise whether the cur riculum blends both tr aditional and converged approaches to media evenly. As previously mentioned, media literacy is crucial to the success of any multimedia sports ) guidelines for media literacy, curricul um possessing courses dealing with Internet based content and courses requir ing students to work with an online content posting component will be judged as having a media literacy element.
43 Finally, the analysis will attempt to identify if any of the cur riculum in sports reporting or journalism include a lab portion, projects, required participation at school owned or local media properties, internships or other method s of putting learned skills into practice in addition to traditional question based test s to evaluate the different teaching techniques mentioned by Auman and Lillie (2008) such as team teaching and coordinated teaching methods ( p. 362). This analysis will assist in providing insight into answering RQ 2. RQ 3 Analysis Once the in depth interv iews and curriculum analysis have been completed, r esults from both will be compared in order to determine what multimedia and legacy reporting skills employers find necessary and whether these skills are being taught to individuals learning multimedia spo rts reporting in the sports reporting programs examined Much like media literacy and convergence, multimedia skills possesses a nebulous definition which changes with each person. Individuals responsible for hiring sports reporters will be asked to provi de their own working definitions for the term multimedia skills. The traits and practices provided by respondents will be compared against current undergraduate curriculum offered in recognized sports reporting programs in order to assess whether they are being taught in current undergraduate curriculum If certain traits or practices appear multiple times they will be documented and noted in the results section. In addition to their definition of terms, individuals responsible for hiring sports reporters will be asked if prospective sports reporters they have interviewed and hired within the past year posses any traits that made them better candidates for hire These
44 traits will then be compared to current course offerings in recognized undergraduate sport s reporting programs, if any trends or specific traits are mentioned multiple times; they will be noted in the results section. Conversely, individuals responsible for hiring sports reporters will be asked if prospective sports reporters who m they do not h ire lacked any specific traits ma king them undesirable candidates for employment within the field of sports reporting. Any traits and practices noted will be compared to current curriculum offerings in undergraduate sports reporting to assess if current cu rriculum s are deficient in preparing prospective sports reporters for working in their desired field. Respondents will also be asked questions regarding their stations goal as it relates to social media. T o understand the ways social media can be used effe ctively, prospective sports reporters should possess a high level of media literacy. Current undergraduate curriculum in recognized sports reporting programs will be analyzed for aspects of media literacy education. The purpose of the analysis is to bette r understand whether current curriculum is teaching aspiring multimedia sports journalists the skills prospective employers find valuable and are needed to secure employment in the field, and satisfy RQ3.
45 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Data was collected from both in depth interviews as well as curriculum analysis during the month of February of 2013. While the ACEJMC accredits 109 institutions across the globe in journalism and mass communication only 15 schools had sports journalism programs that met the criteria within this study of offering a formal curriculum culminating in a certificate, specialization, minor, or area of interest to be examined to answer RQ1. Curriculum from those schools was analyzed and coded by the researcher In addition to the curriculu m analysis in depth interviews were conducted with hiring individuals working in 210 in order to satisfy RQ2 Crouch and McKenzie (2006) note large sample sizes are not necessarily needed when dealing with in depth interviews as a data collection method: I nterview protocols in such research are best analysed in ways which do rather on thematic strands extracted from the materia l by dint of the and conceptual efforts (488). A mong the 61 markets examined three emails were returned as undeliverable, two markets did not possess television stations which met the c riteria set forth by this study of original and one respondent indicated an inability to assist with the research leaving 55 possible respondents Of the respondents interviewed, Table 4 1 shows a breakdown of their positions within the ir television station. Among the remaining 55 possible participants, they were interviewed until saturation was achieved on multiple topics Bernard (2013) defined saturation as a
46 ns among Saturation was achieved in this study by interviewing ten respondents. Among the individual s interviewed three were General Manager s two individuals were both President and General Manager of their station t hree News Dire ctors and two Sports Directors were interviewed Each individual interviewed was responsible for the hiring of sports reporters at their respective station. Hiring mangers interviewed were located throughout the United States, in cluding Wisconsin, Alabam a, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Montana, Idaho, Florida, Ohio, and Louisiana. A ll respondents indicated they do hire recent college graduates and noted they had hired a recent college graduate within the last two years. The most recent hired a recent college graduate a week before the interview was conducted, and another was in the process of hiring a sports reporter. Table 4 1 Title of Individual Interviewed (N=10) Title Percentage Total General Manager 30% (n=3) News Director 30% (n=3) President and General Manager 20% (n=2) Sports Director 20% (n=2) RQ1 What S kills are Employers S eeking ? Beca use terms such as multimedia skills are objective in nature and as with convergence and media literacy, can be interpreted and defined mul tiple ways b y
47 multiple people, respondents were asked numerous questions to obtain their personal de finitions of the concept of multimedia skills before moving on to questions about their educational and professional backgrounds, and hiring practices. R espondents de fined multimedia as the ability to capture content using video recording equipment, utilizing video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe programs to prepare content for multiple platforms such as nightly television broadcasts web pages, and mob ile devices. in addition to being knowledgeable about sports respondents indicated the most needed skill was the ability to perform multiple duties at the station using various technologies rath er than individuals highly skilled in any one area. According to r espondent s, because they operated in smaller markets, they did not possess the budget to hire individuals solely to operate a camera in the field, or solely to edit video in the newsroom. I nstead, t hey not only find the story, but shoot it as well thus performing the duties of both reporter and cameraman In addition, r espondents offered the following as a definition of multimedia skills they found necessary for individuals working in the industry : Technological understanding to distribut e content Repurpos ing content for multiple media C omfort reporting on multiple platforms T elling stories in multiple pl atforms in multiple ways Working across all form s of media, Internet TV, and radio, and putting the different forms together
48 O ne respondent offer ed the following definition of a multimedia sports journalist as someone who Gathers information in a varie ty of ways, not only being at the news scene, but also gathering news and information using s ocial media and contacts gained Another mentioned that in interviews with potential hires it is common practice to assess if the applicant possesses an understanding of the need to have a strong web and mobile presence and added : We take a story that may be shot on a camera, or cell phones nowadays, and put them on another medium. People need to be able to take the data we rece ive in stories, and put that in another form. Participants were also asked about the usage of social media by their sports reporters and television stations A ll respondents noted that in addition to their unique websites on the Internet, their stations an d staff each had to have a presence on the Facebook and Twitter. However, r espondents provided different answers to the objective behind using social media. One respondent believed the primary focus of social media was to act as a driver, bringing viewers Another related a story of how their station was able to integrate social media, sports reporting, and viewer feedback into one: We recently had two anchors that made a bet on the Super Bowl; they agre ed that whoever lost was going to get a pie in the face. The reason we the viewers decided they wanted to see. igi tal world, social media work as a vehicle to facilitate delivering breaking news, scores to games just ending, and injury updates stating, come home, put it on the news, and go home. We have an I nternet pro
49 s updated and current Other individual responses to uses for social media included : Another level of interaction with viewer s Disseminat ing information Generating story ideas from viewers Updat ing scores and relay ing bre aking news with instant access Connecting and sharing information with viewers on another platform Despite the varying uses of social media all respondents answered positively that social media has been very effective in achieving their goals. One respon dent noted local newspaper combined. Another mentioned their Facebook page has over 22,000 likes despite being located in one of the smaller markets in the country B ut despite the success of social media and digital platforms other than television, one respondent pointed out the success is not because of social media, but because of the content: interest getting, and interest control, in the absence of something being compelling and interesting, rder to capture everyone other places to be. Respondents were also asked questions pertaining to their educational background to g ain an understanding of both their highest level or post high school education achieved as well as to determine if they possessed a working knowledge of basic college curriculums before asking their opinions on the educational aspect of sports reporting Overwhelmingly respondents possessed at least a four year deg ree in fields such as j ournalism, c ommunication, and broadcasting One held an advanced degree in
50 journalism, and one was currently working on an advanced degree in a field outside communications, journalism, or broadcasting. Q uestions focusing on their work history showed many have been working in the field of broadcast television for over twenty plus years. The longest professional career spanned over 42 years, while the shortest was less than ten. Moreover, all had held multiple positions within broadc ast television as well as other media such as radio. Within the field of broadcast televisio n, respondents indicated prior experience working in a variety of fields: Sports reporter Sports anchor News reporter News anchor Assignment Editor Producer Photog rapher Assistant News Director Whi le the majority of respondents had worked in multiple markets, one had spent an entire 20+ year career at the same station in the same market. Respondents were also asked a series of questions designed to gauge what sk ills they felt someone looking for a job in sports reporting should possess. Multiple respondents noted on air presence was vital to securing a job as a sports reporter with one stating, Other respondents supported this assertion by stating individuals must possess the ability to be a good storyteller and that a sports re porter needed a good camera presence, and a good base knowledge of sports to know where to find the good stories Significantly, each respondent also mentioned that individuals working in
51 sports reporting needed to possess the ability to write for broadcas t, and be able to write in the more print heavy style for the Internet as well. Interestingly, although each participant indicated the need for sports reporters to possess excellent writing skills for broadcast and print, they also stated they believed the quality of writing among new reporters and recent college graduates has diminished According to one participant: ublic, no one saw their misspellings, their bad punctuation. But now, when you have to from our viewers who are teachers about misspellings on our websites. They see them and a sk where these kids came from. Many respondents noted they have seen changes occurring within the field of reporting and indicated doubt as to how well college students are being prepa red for the industry during a time of rapid change. One specifically noted, I think up until recently the universities were doing a good job of preparing people, but things are changing so fast However, o ne trait mu ltiple respondents voiced that new graduates in sports reporting do possess is the ability to adapt quicker to the changes in technology better as compared to their ability to change writing styles or ability to write well Several stated they believed th is stemmed from the fact younger people have spent more time around technology, and are therefore inherently more comfortable interacting with it but not necessarily articulating properly on such platforms Respondents were asked what they believed indi viduals studying to be sports reporters should be studying While answers varied, the most common responses covered many of the basic journalism courses:
52 Basic writing skills English Spelling Public Speaking Involved with on campus media Basic Journalism skills, shooting video included Of the courses respondents mentioned, no clear majority existed who thought sports knowledge courses were a necessity rather more focused on courses involved with journalism and reporting subjects. RQ2 What Practices are Taught in Sports J ournalism Programs? Among the schools examined the most common name given to programs offering undergraduate curriculum involving sports and reporting identified themselves as Sports Journalism (66%) : Marshall University Pennsylvania S tate University University of North Texas University of Texas Austin Indiana University Temple University University of Tennessee Knoxville University of Missouri Grambling State University Auburn University In addition, Oklahoma State University and the University of Southern California (USC) offer programs in Sports Media while Buffalo State and West Virginia University offer programs in Sports Communication while Texas Christian University ( TCU ) offers a program in Sports Broadcasting. A total of 15 schools were examined with programs relating to sports and reporting (Table 4 2)
53 Table 4 2 Name of Programs Offered (N=15) Title Percentage Total Sports Journalism 66% (n= 10 ) Sports Media 1 3% (n=2 ) Sports Communication 13 % (n=2) Sports Broadcastin g 6.5 % (n=1 ) Of the 15 schools with sports curriculum programs matching the criteria set fort h by this study, three offer majors: Texas Christian University with a major in Sports Broadcasting Marshall with a major in Sports Journalism and Oklahoma Sta te with a major in Sports Media Three schools studied offer a certificate program : Penn State Sports Journalism North Texas Sports Journalism University of Texas Austin Sports Journalism Three schools offer a specialization program in Sports Jo urnalism: Indiana University Sports Journalism Temple Sports Journalism University of Tennessee Knoxville Sports Journalism Two offer a minor program: USC Sports Media West Virginia Sports Communication Two offer a concentration program: Gra mbling State Sports Journalism Buffalo State Sports Communication Oklahoma State University (OSU) is perhaps the best program examined with an understanding of the need for a specific curriculum tailored to the area of multimedia sports journalism off ering a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Media. In addition to traditional journalism courses looking at the history of the profession, as well as legal and ethical
54 obligations of journalists, OSU students must complete courses such as Electronic Sports Reportin g which deals with writing and repurposing sports stories for radio, television, and the Internet (OSU degree requirements, n.d.). Students also take courses that delve into more than writing, such as a course titled Contemporary Sports Media. According to the course description, it deals with: E thical and cultural considerations of the sports media as they pertain to sports gambling, drugs in sports, athletes and crime, privacy of athletes, gender and race in sports, international sports, labor issues in s ports, and how the Internet is changing sports coverage (OSU website, n.d.) Curriculum at OSU covers all aspects this study looked for during the curriculum analysis. Table 4 3 Type of Programs Offered (N=15) Type Percentage Total Major 20% (n= 3 ) Cer tificate 20 % (n= 3 ) Specilization 20 % (n= 3 ) Minor 13% (n=2 ) Concentration 13% (n=2) Area of Emphasis 6.5% (n=1) Area of Interest 6.5% (n=1) The University of Missouri has a strong journalism history; the School of Journalism celebrated its centenn ial in 2008. M uch like Oklahoma State, Missouri offers curriculum focusing on sports journalism. Students learn a blend of media from a combination of disciplines within the field of journalism. According to their website: Covering sports today includes no t only knowing the games but also knowing business and even crime reporting. The interest area crosses all disciplines of journalism, and students will learn to use multiple platforms for reporting and telling a story. Students will gain experience in cove ring games, finding feature stories and covering breaking news in sports (Missouri website, 2012)
55 Courses offered at the University of Missouri began after 2010, and include teaching investigative reporting in sports, understanding audiences, and converge nce reporting. In order to successfully graduate from the program, students must complete a capstone course and among the possible options, two deal specifically with the issues of journalism and multiple platforms : Reporting, Editing and Marketing of Con verged Media and Advanced Internet Application (UM degree requirements, 2012). While using the Internet as an application in multimedia sports journalism is important, just as important is understanding the impact the Internet has had on other mediums, such as print. Students enrolled in curriculum that touches on such a variety of topics, and are exposed to the blending of multiple mediums should develop skills necessary to secure employment in the multimedia sports journalism field faster than those wh o are only trained in one medium. RQ3 Are Sports Reporters Being Taught What They N eed? Table 4 4 provides a breakdown in the components identified by this study as necessary for a complete sports reporting curriculum. A ll programs examined possessed cou rses with a sports component. Examples include Sports Reporting Practices, Sports in Media, Sports in Culture, and Sports Journalism. Media literacy components were present in 14 out of 15 programs examined. TCU was the lone institution not offering tradit ional journalism courses for its Sports Broadcasting major. Courses dealing with media literacy focus ed on understanding and utilizing the Internet as a source, and understanding the multiple ways it can be used from fact finding to social media management
56 Seven participants mentioned the need for online awareness as it relates to hiring new sports reporters and said they use the Internet to obtain information on individuals applying for sports reporting positions. One respondent noted s ocial media pres ence is a major factor in the decision to hire an individual for a sports reporting position. Now the way things are, if we look at their resume reel and if we like them, the next step we do is look at their Facebook page, and their Twitter accounts. An d there have been some people; we say really, this is what you put on your Facebook page ? W e just turn them down; in for an interview. On e participant indicated a belief college students were not being taught the scope of social media and the ethics behind it, particularly those looking for jobs in the media industry. At the same time, the participant also indicated a lack of knowledge about online platforms from a variety of individuals in the industry: l of us in the industry are trying to figure out. curriculum standpoint, ethics of social media, or something that would work s getting fired all the time for doing something stupid on Facebook or YouTube. T raditional journalism courses were found to be present in 14 out of the 15 programs analyzed. USC was the lone university not offering curriculum in journalism as part of its Sports Media program. Some courses were able to blend aspects of multiple components together. For example, t he course Reporting Across Platforms provided students a chance to work on honing their reporting skills in a multitude of areas. Overwhelmingly respondents noted internships are environments where prospective sports reporters are able to gain valuable practical experience. One respondent noted an applicant without internship experience is at a marked disadvantage :
57 I will rarely hire someone who h have any experience i n a real newsroom I tend to shy away from, and Another respondent echoed the need for internships and explained why they are so crucial to prospective sports reporters: not completely green, so th ey come in with some chops right away. And W hile over two thirds of sports programs required an interns hip component, it was the least required area in present curriculum. Table 4 4 Components of Curriculums (N=15) Type Percentage Total Sports Themed 100 % (n= 15 ) Media Literacy 93 % (n= 14 ) Traditional Journalism 93 % (n= 14 ) Online Reporting 86 % (n= 13 ) I nternships 73 % (n= 11 )
58 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Program Differences While there is some evidence undergraduate academic programs contain elements of the necessary components vital to training 21 st Century sports reporters, there are areas whe Studies focus heavily on the role of sports in society and media, but very little if any attention is paid to the journalistic requirement aspect. In addition, while the University of Maryland s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism provide a steady stream of workshops, lecture series, and symposiums, no formal curriculum plans exist within the Center to offer a major, minor, certificate, etc to undergraduate students. Likewise at Arizon Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the sports department offers nu merous internship opportunities as well as contact information for outside internships, however like the University of Maryland, no formal curr iculum plan is in place offering undergraduate students an opportunity to earn a specializa tion, concentration, area of emphasis, etc. While this study focused on courses contained with the curriculum of undergraduate academic programs, it did not examin e courses outside of the specific academic programs to learn if some components such a traditional journalism, internships, and media literacy are offered in journalism curriculum outside of the specified sports programs. This was because while some progra ms required students to be admitted solely int o the sports reporting programs, others programs such as those
59 offering certificates allow any student, regardless of major, to complete the program without completing the required journalism courses Practical Implications The in depth interviews provided areas where recommendations and practical implications of this study can be found. Multiple respondents expressed concern over e potential employers are able to view examples of experience working as a sports reporter. In fact, o ne respondent detailed just how many applicants were lacking examples of past work Out of 100 applicants, m aybe 25 necessary. Respondents were not only vocal about a lack of a resume or r eel tape from applicants but also how applicants structured their tape and resume and how they sent them to potential employers. Offering insight into the hiring practices for sports reporters, o ne respondent suggested the following i n regards to reel ta pe s : We watch about maybe 30 seconds of each resume tape, maybe a minute, and then it goes into either the trash or the interview pile. People want to better be a bunch of 10 15 second multiple situations. of the art graphic and visual options designed to enhance the visual look of stories, numerous respondents said they believ e applicants today focus too much on the production aspect of their resume tapes, and not enough on the content they are reporting.
60 When asked why resume tapes and proof of competency is so highly valued among individuals seeking jobs in sports reporting, a respondent said : news room working news, in sports, you have two. You have one chance to get your foot in the door in a small market station. While small market stations gen erally provide an environment where newly graduated and beginning sports reporters start their careers, one respondent said that is not always the case: reason this time aroun position. Some of them recent college graduates, some of them eager beavers who are still in school but are applying for jobs now because Ad ditionally, small markets not only provide new sports reporters their first job, they also provide them a chance to make a name for themselves, good or bad. One respondent said they are not sure if newer sports reporters realize long lasting implications o f things such as a poor work ethic: eputation you earn here stays with you. This is a small field, it stays with you. You can choose the classes you go to in college, this is work, you show up. Along with a poor work ethic, multiple respondents referenced a growing sense of what they perceiv e as entitlement among new sports reporters. Respondents noticed new sports reporters are entering the workforce not fully aware how long it may take them to reach the level of success they desire within the industry. Practical implications for Educationa l Institutions If a university, such as the University of Florida planned a program of sports, journalism, and reporting courses which culminated in a formal recognition of
61 completion such as a certificate, minor, or major, it must take the findings of th is study into consideration. s employers. Sports reporting curriculum is providing future sports reporters a basic foundation for a successful career, however it could be augmented to ensure future sports reporters stand a much better chance at finding success: Incorporate more spelling and grammar components into sports journalism curriculum Require more internship hours as part of the curriculum to get future sports reporters real world practical experience before they enter the workforce Integrate an area within the curriculum or program where students are able to learn the basics of putting together a resume and a reel tape Combine sections on professional media literacy and the need for personal media awareness in regards to social media and the sports reporting profession A program that offered at least a minor, but preferably a major would be the most beneficial, in order for students to fully complete each required area. The issue of what to n ame the program however, is one each university profiled has come across. T he name chosen for the program should reflect the skills taught within the program. Curriculums focused on traditional print heavy areas are better served to carry the title Journal ism, while programs focused on audio visual heavy areas are better served to carry the title Reporting. However, because the ultimate goal is for each program to produce individuals capable of operating in more than one media the title Sports Media is the best fitting.
62 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION The digitization of sports reporting has led to advancements in the field, allowing for a mind boggling amount of information to flow freely unlike any other time in history It also provides a never before seen forum where content creators such as new sports reporters can interact directly with viewers, and ultimately flourish. Growing up with technology has allowed this generation sports reporters to redefine the profession though new technology such as handheld an d mobile devices. These devices signal a shift not just in where the profession of sports reporting is heading, but how fast it is heading there. The Internet has created new challenges for 21 st Century sports reporters that those of the past did not have to face. Sports reporters of last century had more control over the information they released, and the information they chose not to publish and broadcast They also had markedly less interaction with their viewers, and as a result, were not in tune with the needs of sports fans to the degree of sports reporter. This transformation however, has also led to some challenges in the field of sports reporting as well. How to stay relevant as a gatekeeper of information in a world where there are less an d less gates to keep are face. The Internet has placed a focus back on the skill of writing, a skill the hiring managers interviewed for this study say lacking. While the digit al change is a necessary and natural advancement in communication, it cannot come at the expense of traditional journalistic endeavors such as grammar, spelling, and most importantly, the desire for accuracy.
63 Limitations of Study While the Internet has m ade the ability to research and find information a much more streamlined process, there was some difficulty in locating curriculum information regarding und ergraduate academic programs. Because some of the programs were still relatively new and courses wer e still being added, many courses were given temporary In addition, information on some courses was not available and neither w ere syllabi. This made it especially difficult to fully determine which concepts the curriculum satisfied with regards to coding. Additionally, another limitation was the non existence of a standard of titles or curriculum across all universities with res pect to sports reporting. Much like the definitions of media literacy, convergence, and multimedia, sports reporting curriculum s go by many names, and comparisons are made difficult when no clear consensus is reached. Finally, this study focused solely on the traditional one medium field of television, and its use of the Internet. Other media such as newspapers, radio stations, and Internet only companies were not considered. Future Research Several areas exist for future research into 21 st Century sports reporting practices and curriculums. Calculating if the trend of poor grammar and improper spelling habits continue is an area where future research could prove insightful. Several respondents noted this area in the in depth interviews as an area of grave concern as poor grammar and spelling on the Internet hurts the credibility of the individual making the mistake, and their media organization.
64 Also, monitoring whether athletes are continuing to migrate to forums such as social media and other places on t he Internet where the y are able to reach fans and viewers directly is important for multiple reasons. First, it will detail if sports reporters have been able to reverse the trend, and it will provide insight as to how sports reporters are handling the tra nsition if it continues. With only 15 out of 109 accredited academic institutions offering undergraduate sports geared programs, another area for future research is chronicling whether more schools are adopting formal sports geared curriculum. For example s chools such as Southern Illinois Carbondale have begun to implement an official program, scheduled to begin during the summer semester of 2013 In addition to observing whether or not the number of formal sports geared programs grows in the coming years future research opportunities exist in detailing the type of courses taught within recognized programs, and if any concepts are added dealing with media literacy and convergence as advances in technology bring even more drastic changes in the digital lan dscape. While sports will always have a timeless place in society, how they are broadcast, covered, and vie wed will continue to change, just as the individual rules of each sport have changed over the years.
65 APPENDIX A RESPONDENT EMAIL To (insert nam e), My name is Matthew Cretul. I am a Masters Candidate at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I am conducting research on the hiring practices in sports reporting, and would like to know if you would be willing to participate in an interview to as sist with the research. Interviews will be conducted in February 2013 via telephone or Skype, and consist of questions designed to measure your thoughts on the skills necessary for employment as a sports reporter, with a specific focus on multimedia and w multimedia sports reporting coverage. If you are able to participate, please let me know, and we can coordinate a time that works best for you. Thanks for your time and as sistance, and I look forward to hearing from you. Matthew Cretul University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication s G0 40 Weimer Hall Gainesville, FL 3261 1
66 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS What is your official title with the station? How m any years have you held that position? Have you held any other similar positions at this or any other station? What is your background in the television broadcast industry? What is your educational background? What is your definition of multimedia skil ls? (If clarification is needed, examples include using mediums other than broadcast television to deliver content, such as the Internet) In addition to your website, do you have a presence in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube? What socia l media sites does your station use? How effective do you think it is? Do you typically hire recent college graduates? Have you recently hired a new college graduate for a sports reporting position? When did you hire the recent graduate? Based on your definition of multimedia, what are some multimedia skills you consider a necessity for employment in the field of sports journalism? Are there any skills that you notice individuals you interview, and deci ded not to hire, tend to be lacking? What skills, multimedia or otherwise did the individual lack that caused them not to be hired? Are there any skills, multimedia or otherwise recently hired individuals do not possess that you wish they did? What skill s are those? Are there any skills, multimedia or otherwise you noticed recently hired individual tend to excel in? What skills are those? What do you think someone who is studying to be a sports reporter should study in college? Is there anything you wo uld like to add?
67 APPENDIX C CODING SHEET School : ____________ College Program is located in : ___________ Is it a major: Yes No Is it a minor: Yes No Is it a certificate: Yes No Is it a specialization: Yes No Courses offered: 1. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 2. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 3. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 4. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 5. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion:
68 6. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 7. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 8. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 9. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: 10. a. Course description: b. La b/Project portion: 11. a. Course description: b. Lab/Project portion: Media Literacy Component : Yes No Number of Classes: _________ Traditional Journalism Courses Taught : Yes No Number of Classes: _________ Online reporting taught : Yes No Number of Classes: ___ ____ __ Sports Centered Courses Taught : Yes No Number of Classes: ___ _____ Internships required : Yes No Number of Hours: ______ ___ Total credits required for specialization: __ ______ __ possess elements of multiple groupings
69 APPENDIX D Nielsen 2012 201 3 Designated Market Areas 150 210 150 Albany, GA WALB (NBC/ABC) WFXL (FOX/MyTV) 151 Minot Bismarck Dcknsn (Wlstn) KNOT (NBC) 152 Odessa Midland KWES (NBC) 153 Rochestr Mason City Austin KIMT (CBS) 154 Terre Haute WTHI (CBS/FOX) WTWO (NBC) 155 Bangor WFVX (ABC/FOX) 156 Bluefield Beckley Oak Hill WVVA (NBC) 157 Binghamton WICZ (FOX) 158 Wheeling Steubenville WTRF (CBS) 159 Panama City WMBB (ABC) 1 60 Biloxi Gulfport WLOX 161 Sherman Ada KTEN (NBC) 162 Idaho Fals Pocatllo (Jcksn) KIFI (ABC) 163. Gainesville WNBW (NBC/CBS) WCJB (ABC) 164. Abilene Sweetwater KRBC (NBC) 165. Yuma El Centro KYMA (NBC) 166 Missoula KPA X (CBS) 167. Hattiesburg Laurel WDAM (NBC/ABC) 168 Billings KTVQ (CBS) 169 Dothan WTVY (CBS) 170 Clarksburg Weston WBOY (NBC/ABC) 171 Quincy Hannibal Keokuk KHQA (ABC/CBS)
70 172 Utica WKTV (NBC) 173 Rapid City KOTA (ABC) 174 Elmira (Corning) WENY (ABC/CBS) 175 Lake Charles KLPC (NBC) 176 Jackson, TN WBBJ (ABC/CBS) 177. Watertown WWTI (ABC) 178 Harrisonburg WHSV (ABC/CBS/FOX) 179 Alexandria, LA KALB (NBC/CBS) 180 Marquette WJMN (CBS) 181 Jonesboro KAIT (ABC) 182 Bowling Green WBKO (ABC) 183 Charlottesville WCAV (ABC/CBS/FOX) 184. Laredo KGNS (NBC) 185 Grand Junction Montrose KKCO (NBC) 186 Meridian WGBC (NBC) 187 Butte Bozeman KWYB (ABC/FOX) 188 Gree nwood Greenville WXVT (CBS) 189 Lafayette, IN WLFI (CBS) 190 Great Falls KRTV (CBS) 191 Twin Falls KMVT (CBS) 192 Bend, OR KTVZ (NBC) 193 Parkersburg WTAP (NBC/CBS/FOX) 194 Eureka KIEM (NBC)
71 195 Cheyenne Scottsbluf f KGWN (CBS) 196 San Angelo KLST (CBS) 197 Casper Riverton KCWY (NBC) 198 Mankato KEYC (NBC/FOX) 199 Lima WLIO (ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX) 200 Ottumwa Kirksville KTVO (ABC/CBS) 201 St. Joseph KQTV (ABC) 202 Fairbanks KTVF (NBC) 203 Zanesville WHIZ (NBC) 204 Victoria KAVU (ABC) 205 Presque Isle WAGM (CBS/FOX) 206 Helena KTVH (NBC) 207 Juneau none 208 Alpena WBKB (CBS/ABC/FOX) 209 North Platte KNOP (NBC) 210 Glendive non e
72 AP PENDIX E Informed Consent Protocol Title: 21 st Century Sports Reporting Practices and Curriculum Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: To determine if academic curriculum in the area of sports reporting contains essential elements (such as online components, convergence methods, and media literacy) to adequately prepare students for a career in sports broadcasting. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be as ked to complete an interview via telephone to determine if, in your opinion, current academic curriculums are sufficiently preparing individuals for a career in sports reporting. Time required: Less than 1 hour. Risks and Benefits: There are no foresee able risks for participating in this research. As well, there are no direct benefits to participation. Compensation: No form of financial or academic compensation will be given for participating in this research. Confidentiality: Your identity will be k ept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your information will be assigned a code number. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my office. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the list will be destroyed. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. You also have the right to not answer any question that you chose not to answer or do not wish to answer. Ri ght to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Matthew R. Cretul, Graduate Student, Department of Journalism and Communication, Weimer Hall, PO BOX 118400, Gainesville, FL, 32611, 352 273 1644
73 Dr. Wayne Wanta, Chair, Journalism Department, College of Journalism and Communication, 2070 Weimer Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352 392 0500 Whom to contact about your right s as a research participant in the study: UFIRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; phone 392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description.
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79 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH While Matthew R. Cretul may boring person. He hails from Ocala, Florida and enlisted in the U nited S tates Army in 2004 where he spent 15 months in Ramadi, Iraq making friends and so on. After he left active duty, h e used his GI Bill to from the University of properties. He then made the foolish decis ion to continue his education by pursuing his Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of School graduating in 2013 In addition to working for various medi a properties within Weimer Hall, Matthew was also a teaching ass istant for RTV 2100 Writing for Electronic M edia and served as a guest lecturer for the undergraduate course Sports News Writing n extremely spoiled canine named Macanudo.