The Sports Task Force is all about bringing in the next young journalists that will help our industry survive and thrive. The Mentor Breakfast brings seasoned professionals together with budding journalists.
At the start of the program attendees signed up to be paired with a likeminded professional who they can call on for career advice. Honoree Stuart Scott of ESPN accepted his achievement via a recorded response with his signature wit.
ESPN’s Jay Harris blessed the crowd with tales of his journey from a county kid to news man to sports anchor. Harris stressed that attendees should “Do You, but don’t forget the people who support you.”
Can’t decide if you want to go to the Sports Task Force Mentor Breakfast? Take a look at this story and you should have your decision. Listen to David Aldridge of Turner Sports tell the story of how the mentor breakfast worked for him and his mentee.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Sports Mentorship Breakfast
I am delighted to tell you about my relationship with my mentee,Tiffany Greene.
Because I’m old now, I can’t remember the exact year we were paired at a mentorbreakfast. But Tiffany was just getting started out of FAMU, working out of Orlando for a local news station. She had so much enthusiasm about her work and so much potential. We hit it off right away. She wanted to build her career the right way, and she did, year after year, story after story. She cut pieces. She shot pieces. She did sideline reporting for high school football games. At the time, it seemed like grunt work that would lead nowhere to her. But she was learning how to be a professional reporter, and beginning to make contacts that would serve her well down the line.
There’s no handbook on how to be a mentor. I wanted to be a sounding board, shoulder to cry on and supporter of her dreams and goals. And as the years have gone on, Tiffany has blossomed into the reporter and person we both knew she could be. She did all the work; I just made a suggestion here or there. She’s gone up the ladder, from local to regional, and now national, doing play by play on college basketball for Fox Sports, while continuing to anchor and host for Bright House Sports in Florida. (She wants to do volleyball next!)
She’s also grown into a delightful, charming young woman, who’s getting married to her best friend in December. I’ll be there.
Whatever help I’ve provided for Tiffany over the years has been returned, tenfold. I’m so proud of her, and everything she’s become, and so excited about everything she’s going to become in the future!
1. I can’t find you on Google
Your don’t have to be popular like Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, but you should be present enough on the web that I can easily find yourLinkedInprofile, content you have created, your Twitter account, or your personal web page just by typing your name into Google.
2. Your last tweet is from 2011
Don’t tell me you’re a digital guru if you haven’t tweeted in the last three years. You don’t have to have a million followers (though I’ll pay closer attention if you do), but you do need to be participating in the conversation on a regular basis by sharing other people’s content and staying current. A few tweets a week is enough; a month long lapse is unacceptable. I’d rather see you using one network well and not have accounts on the others, than have accounts everywhere and use none of them effectively.
3. Your public Facebook photos resemble “Frank the Tank”
Doing keg stands when you’re young is cool (believe it or not, I did a few back in the day) but there is literally no excuse for any of them to be in your public Facebook profile. Shirtless or bikini photos have no place in your public-facing profile on any network, so plan accordingly unless you’re applying to be Will Farrell’s stunt double; in which case, best of luck to you.
4. Your LinkedIn photo is a selfie LinkedIn is, by definition, a professional network. To that end, I think it’s fair to expect your photo there to be professional-looking. Do you need a glamour shot or Annie Leibovitz-quality image to get hired? Absolutely not. But you should be looking straight to the camera, show your entire face (emo, shadowy portraits are cool for Instagram but not for LinkedIn), and be appropriately sized for the channel.
5. The only number on your resume is your phone number
Marketing is no longer arts and crafts — you need to be measurable and efficient to succeed. As a result, if your resume doesn’t include a single quantifiable metric to show your accomplishments, you’re likely not going to be a good fit on a marketing team today.
6. You speak exclusively in business babble
Tell me what you’re doing and what you have done in a clear, concise manner — limit the business babble. No one wants to read about how you “leverage responsibilities to meaningfully impact the organization’s directional strategy.” Tell me what you marketed, sold or championed within your company and how it moved the needle — no gobbledygook required.
7. You haven’t written anything since college
Your writing sample should not be a college term paper. Now there are countless channels to publish your work, so whether you self-publish through LinkedIn, post to Medium, or just keep your own blog current, you should be able to provide a current work sample that doesn’t have your college professor’s edits all over it. Every single person on our marketing team does some form of content creation, so we need people who are exceptional and committed to publishing or producing content early and often.
8. You applied for 15 positions on our team
Being eager to join a company is a good thing; being desperate is not. Invest the time to craft a cover letter and resume tailored to the job you truly want rather than trying to boil the ocean by applying to dozens of jobs in the same category. Not sure which position is a fit based on your skill set? Shoot a quick clarifying email to the hiring manager or recruiter before applying: Doing so may help you choose the right fit based on your experience and interests.
9. You forget to use Ctrl + F
Everyone knows spelling errors are unacceptable, but it’s amazing to me how many cover letters we get addressed to the wrong people or referencing another local company instead of HubSpot. Finding the time to create 100 different cover letters is nearly impossible, but you should have tailored cover letters and resumes for the types of positions you are applying for and invest the time and energy to ensure the company name, hiring manager and position are correctly spelled and positioned throughout your application materials.
Job hunting is hard, so don’t make it harder that it has to be. Do yourself a favor and don’t give a company a reason not to hire you before you even get to the interview. Marketing has changed, adapt your job search strategy accordingly!
What do you perceive to be resume red flags? Tell us in the comments.
Want to get in the game? Check out these Sports Task Force sponsored panels and other sports-themed panels at the 2014 Convention that will put you on the right track.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom A
Host – Opening Ceremony: Michael Smith, Host, “Numbers Never Lie,” ESPN
Thursday, July 31, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Hotel, Constitution B
Sports Mentorship Breakfast Powered By ESPN
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 311
Sports – Promised Land or Just Another Plantation?
Sports has spawned many of the most affluent and recognizable African-Americans and their celebrity. It also has delivered “acceptable” black faces into living rooms across the planet. But is it the land of opportunity and equality or an institution that perpetuates the plantation mentality and distracts our community from creating real solutions for the other 99.5 percent? While a small minority of athletes hit the lottery, sports is rife with elitism, racists views and virulent fans. Consider that just as many people were offended by Richard Sherman as were disturbed by Donald Sterling. Every time we cite passion as the reason fans are excused from racist chants and hateful social media it signals there is nothing to fix. Sports is often viewed as the progressive place where social issues play out a head of the curve. But is the sports industry in position to take up the fight against the new racism? Can we challenge its owners and the media executives to be bold leaders when the business model is working just fine for them?
Moderator: Elle Duncan, Reporter/Host New England Sports Network
Panelists: Greg Anthony, NBA/College Basketball Analyst, CBS/Turner Bomani Jones, Co-Host, Highly Questionable, ESPN, Radio Host Dr. Richard Lapchick, Endowed Chair, DeVos Sports Business Management Program,University of Central Florida /Founder of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society(CSSS), Northeastern University/Author of the Annual Report Card on Race and Diversity in Sports
Michael Wilbon, ESPN Host, Sports Columnist, The Washington Post
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Fenway Park
Boston Chapter Experience (RSVP for the waitlist to gain entry, link below)
Do the Pro Leagues Really Get Diversity and Inclusion?
Powered by NASCAR
Sports and entertainment organizations are constantly challenged with growing and measuring the relevancy and impact of their D&I efforts. This session will engage participants in a conversation with an expert panel representing NASCAR and other prominent sports leagues. The panel will address what each organization is doing in the diversity and inclusion arena and ways that journalists can better engage with these organizations in covering this topic and other related growth areas.
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 311
The State of the Black Sports Reporter in Today’s Age What is the true state of black sports reporters in newspapers? White reporters and columnists outweigh their black newspapers counterparts by a landslide. A lot of black sportswriters are going to the Internet in other capacities. There is also a perception that most black reporters are covering the NBA or NFL. There is also talk that black sports reporters won’t work in small towns, which hurts staffing numbers too. What lies ahead for black sportswriters in print and online media? Is the black sportswriter becoming extinct? Additionally, is social media taking the place of traditional media and the sportswriter? Specifically in sports, athletes are immediately taking to social media to express their feelings about the outcome of a game, their teammates, opponents instead of waiting until the press conference. By the time reporters file their stories, the news’ shelf life is expiring. How does a reporter remain valid when the scoop is no longer exclusive but shared with the world in a matter of seconds?
Panelists: Carlton Thompson, Executive Editor, MLB.com Gary Washburn, National Basketball Reporter, Boston Globe Mike Freeman, NFL Insider forBleacherReport.co
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 310
TMZ, Reality Shows and Sports Journalism’s New Normal It’s not enough to just cover your beat anymore. Sports stars are pop culture celebrities and, in a few cases, pop culture superstars. What are the lines by which we define the new normal? How does a site like TMZ Sports change our perspective on what it means to cover athletes off the court? What tools can journalists take with them to cover the other side of this emerging and permanent trend? We will cover three themes: NBA and fashion, pop culture associations, gossip and reality shows (Basketball Wives), and what journalistic principles should reporters and decision makers take into their news meetings?
Moderator: Darren Sands, Sports Business editor, Black Enterprise
Panelists: J.A. Adande, ESPN/ESPN.com reporter and columnist Monique Walker Jones, NFL-Ravens Editor/Sports Content Editor, The Baltimore Sun
(Print out confirmation and bring it with you when you pick up your registration badge or buy your ticket at registration)
Saturday, August 1, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. NABJ Golf Tournament
Location: William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park
1 Circuit Drive, Dorchester, MA 02121
Transportation will be provided
Powered by The Coca-Cola Company
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 311
Being a Black Celtic
There are a lot of truths and misconceptions on what it was like to be black on the Celtics.The following would be a panel with former Celtics great and a current player to tell the truth being the perception of racism from the team, city, media and fans in Boston and the reality of it. Confident I can get former Celtics Satch Sanders, JoJo White and Cedric Maxwell and patriarch Red Auerbach’s daughter to join. Also would work on getting NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo. With the convention being in Boston, such a plenary discussion would be educational and fun to hear. Such might even get some local and national attention. I used to cover the Boston Celtics for The Boston Globe and heard a lot of interesting things that Bill Russell and others went through. But a lot of people don’t know that the Celtics made the first NBA trade for a black player, had one of the three first black players in NBA history, and had the first black coach and more. It could be a great panel discussion.
Moderator: A. Sherrod Blakely, Comcast SportsNet New England
Satch Sanders, Former Celtic Cedric Maxwell, Former Celtic Jared Sullinger, Current Celtic Ron Thomas, Member, NABJ Sports Task Force, Director, Journalism Program, Morehouse College Doc Rivers, Former Celtics Head Coach, Head Coach & VP of Basketball Operations,Los Angeles Clippers
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 206
Rapid Fire Roundtable: How Did You Do It?
Major stories of the year are covered by all media (TV, magazines, print, radio, online/blogs, social) but all covered differently. How does each medium cover each story, make it interesting and keeping readers engaged? During this panel, top media professionals from each platform will discuss how they covered the top news stories from 2013-14. Major stories of the year are covered by all media (TV, magazines, print, radio, online/blogs, social) but all covered differently. How does each medium cover each story, make it interesting and keeping readers engaged? During this panel, top media professionals from each platform will discuss how they covered the top news stories from 2013-14. Each media professional will provide tips and techniques on how they made their version of the story stand out and will offer attendees advice on how they can develop stories that appeal to their audience.
Moderator: Nischelle Turner, Headline News Entertainment Reporter
Panelists: Michael Bullerdick, Managing Editor, Essence Magazine Michael Doyle, Managing Editor, NBA Digital Marc Spears, NBA Writer, Yahoo! Sports
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Hynes Convention Center, Room 205 NABJ Sports Task Force Business Meeting (All sports taskforce members should attend)
Come meet the board of the NABJ Sports Task Force and hear what exciting things the task force has done this year and what we have coming up.
Lonnie White, a former USC football player who worked for two decades as a Los Angeles Times sportswriter, has died. He was 49.
White, who had a number of health problems over the last several years, died Saturday at Glendale Memorial Hospital, his sister Terri said.
White worked for The Times from 1987 to 2008. He covered the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, the NFL, UCLA football, USC basketball, high school sports and was a general-assignment reporter.
His work was recognized several times in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual writing contest and he wrote the book “UCLA vs. USC: 75 years of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports.”
“Lonnie was one of the truly good guys in our business, respected and liked by almost everyone who knew him professionally and personally,” said Times sports editor Mike James, who worked with White throughout his career at the newspaper and edited his book. “This is a very sad day.”
Last November, I paneled a group of a six highly accomplished and respected female sports journalists for an SI.com email roundtable on the issues they deal with daily as women in the sports media. After publication of that story, a number of well-known sports journalists of color reached out suggesting I should do something similar on the issues sports media members of color deal with on a daily basis. That suggestion prompted the formation of the similarly well-accomplished and respected group below.
The panel was asked a series of email questions with no requirements. They were free to pass on any questions. For those of you on Twitter, the panelists are recommended and you can follow them by clicking on their names above. This is long, but I think worth your time if you want insight into today’s sports media. Part I runs today. Part II of the panel’s answers will run in next week’s Monday Media Circus column. QUESTIONS
SI.com: Most of you are on social media. How often do you get tweets/Facebook comments related to your race and what impact do they have?
Champion: More often than I’d like to admit. Working on a national show, five days a week gives me an amazing platform but also a significant amount of social media access. Someone created an account on Twitter to send me some very racist/sexist messages. My immediate response was to block whomever but they persisted. And while everyone says ‘Don’t read it’ and ‘Ignore it,’ I’m here to say it doesn’t always work. No matter how hard you try, a few messages will catch you. When I first began work at First Take it really bothered me because the words were very hateful, words that no one would dare say to your face. But unfortunately and fortunately, I’ve become immune. We live in a social media world where I now expect it. (Anyone with a public platform can more than likely relate.) There have been a few instances where ESPN security had to respond. To that end I’m more selective about who or whom I interact with and engage on social media.
Hill: Every day, I’m told to either go back to the kitchen or back to Africa. In fact, I checked my Twitter mentions 10 minutes after writing this, and a tweeter called me a monkey. It’s unacceptable, but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that this was part of the job. I hate that I compartmentalize it that way because I’m giving a pass to those who verbally abuse people on social media. I can’t afford to be impacted by it because if I am, then I can’t do my job. I’d cry myself to sleep every night if I let what some idiots say on social media change how I did my job or what I thought of myself.
Kawakami: Sadly, because I respect that the Raiders fan base is so balanced demographically, I’d say that 20-to-25 percent of the angry Tweets and emails I get from Raiders fans have racial overtones or flat-out racist filth directed at me. My stance is that I think they’re trying to intimidate me into saying only what they want. Racists are used to trying to intimidate people, and I don’t get intimidated — especially not by racists. Many wise people have told me that they don’t like that I spend so much time on Twitter firing back at those who fire at me. I get that. But the racist element is the main reason I do. If I’m annoying, it’s occasionally because I want to let the racists know that they can’t stop me from being annoying. Otherwise, I don’t see much of it. Always going to get some, but that’s life as a columnist.
Lee: On the occasion that people resort to challenging my views as it relates to race, I will not attempt to engage them because 1.) you will not win on social media; 2.) you won’t be able to provide proper context in social media and 3.) we never had a conversation in person that justifies those on Twitter to make judgments about me.
Rodriguez: I haven’t gotten much of that on social media, thankfully. In my previous job as the home page manager for the Arizona Republic’s website I used to get a lot of pretty crazy stuff on my voicemail. This was when the immigration debate was at its peak in Arizona and emotions were pretty high on both sides. My job was to decide what stories made it to the front page of the website. A local talk radio show host (and former U.S. Congressman) got on the radio and said that the reason the website wasn’t more anti-immigrant was because I was hiding the real news. He gave out my phone number and told his listeners to call me and complain. The messages were pretty colorful. One caller said I should go back to Mazatlan. I’m not even from Mazatlan! (And who wouldn’t want to go to Mazatlan?!) I got several others saying that I was biased because I was ‘one those people with a ‘ez’ last name’. Several Hispanic reporters at the paper got a lot of abuse around that time, probably still do. We would share our craziest messages and see whose was worse.
Sands: People are allowed to act anonymously on the Internet with (save for a few notable occasions) little accountability for the things they tweet, comment and send. In this sense, the Web is really the wild West. It’s unfortunate and can hurt sometimes, but it’s why people shouldn’t react and, in some cases, should not take themselves so seriously. I defer to the other panelists on this, especially Cari and Jemele, because they must deal with it every day.