UNITY Convention programming

Here’s a list of Sports Task Force programming for the UNITY convention in Chicago:

Sports Task Force party

Thursday, July 24
Sports Mentor Breakfast, Sponsored by ESPN INC.
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Convention Center Room W183A

The NABJ Sports Task Force, in association with UNITY ’08, is pleased to present a panel discussion concerning the transition of career paths from print to multi-platform journalism. Learn from the insights and experiences of ESPN journalists and panelists: Dwayne Bray, senior news editor; Chris Broussard, senior writer; Pedro Gomez, bureau reporter; Jemele Hill, reporter, and Rob King, editor-in-chief, ESPN.com. The panel will be moderated by ESPN anchor Michael Kim. These panelists come from a variety of print backgrounds and have transitioned their careers to different or emerging journalism platforms. They will be glad to discuss aspects of their career progression and how they successfully refocused their careers in different directions.

For young professionals in the field of journalism, this is your opportunity to seek out others in the field of sports reporting and apply for an assigned mentor who can provide candid feedback and advice on critical career decisions or discussions.

Panelists: Dwayne Bray, Senior News Editor, ESPN; Chris Broussard, Senior Writer, ESPN; Pedro Gomez, Bureau Reporter, ESPN; Jemele Hill Columnist, ESPN; Michael Kim, ESPN Anchor; Robert King, Editor-In-Chief, ESPN.com, ESPN.

Third Annual Sports Task Force Scholarship Summer Jam Presented by Turner Sports
9 p.m.

Major League Baseball Meet & Greet
(invite only)
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Site TBA

Friday, July 25

The Off-Field Advantage: Race and Gender Politics in Sports Coverage
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Session Number/Code: 400
Room: McCormick Place West – W175

Panelists: David Aldridge, Sports Reporter, Turner Sports; Bill Duffy, Chairman, BDA Sports; Gregory Lee, Senior Assistant Sports Editor, The Boston Globe; Paul Gutierrez, Reporter, The Sacramento Bee; Ohm Youngmisuk, Reporter, New York Daily News; Sage Steele, Anchor, ESPN

From Barry Bonds, to Alex Rodriguez, to Don Amaechi, minority pro athletes who have unique off-field experiences can present tough challenges to mainstream sportswriters. But are these athlete’s experiences really so unique? And why do some pro athletes seem to enjoy positive coverage, no matter their off-field doings, while others are regularly described as being “difficult?” Do sportswriters of color cover pro athletes differently than their white colleagues? How about women sportswriters? And would increasing the number of minorities and women in the industry ranks of sportswriters and editors bring wholesale change to the way athletes of color are depicted in publications and on sports broadcasts? Join top sportswriters, editors, and athletes in this roundtable discussion on the coverage of minority athletes. Find out how to combine the fundamentals of sound journalism with sports expertise to enhance coverage; gain insights on locker-room culture, and how to delivery culturally-competent reports. And expect a no-holds-barred give-and-take from the pro athletes on the panel.

Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards
5:30 P.M. TO 7:30 P.M.
Sheraton Hotel

The NABJ Sports Task Force will honor Chicago legends Lacy J. Banks (journalism), Gale Sayers (football), Katrina Adams (tennis), Dr. Larry Hawkins (coaching and educator), and Minnie Minoso (baseball), Dianne Durham. She is the first African-American
female to be the U.S. gymnastics champion. Craig Hodges, the former NBA star played on two
NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls.

The Sports Task Force will also recognize the achievements of Chicago sports owner Jerry Reinsdorf and White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams.

Lastly, the Task Force will recognize its first Larry Whiteside Scholarship winner.

Saturday, July 26

The Score on Sports: Get In and Get It Done on Multimedia
Session Number/Code: 1005
Room: McCormick Place West – W175

Covering sports is a time-honored tradition in journalism, one that has been given new legs on the Web. If you want to know how to get started, or how to improve the skills you need to deliver high-quality sports coverage, this is the workshop for you. Come learn helpful tips on becoming a multi-media journalists for websites owned by newspapers and non-newspaper companies. Also best practice advice for working the beat: whether you are at a newspaper, website, broadcast outlet or if you blog on your own, mastering the fundamentals of sports-reporting is essential to your success in this multi-media era.

Panelists: Patricia Mays, Riverside Press-Enterprise sports editor; Kevin Blackistone, AOL, ESPN, XM Radio and Shirley Povich Chair of Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland; Rob King, ESPN.com editor; Dinn Mann, MLB.com president; Dave Morgan, Yahoo.com editor; Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle baseball writer/blogger.

Moderator: Jemele Hill, ESPN.com columnist/on air personality.

The Sports Task Force Annual Business Meeting
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
W191 at the Convention Center