Thursday, August 29, 2013

Enterprise journalism?

Daily Beacon design editor Katrina Roberts did a fantastic job on the football preview section. The social media story especially looks a lot better on the print page than it does on our website. Pick up a print copy or go read the print version online here! ---->

In the past 12 months I have bylined approximately 230 articles,. That time span includes a three month stretch spent at a radio station in Memphis when I wrote basically none. It's what I do every day. Hopefully when I graduate - and have the weight of being a full-time student off my back - I'll be doing it even more than I do now.

But what my infant journalism career has lacked is foresight. My writing is always done for the next day's paper. I'll occasionally start working on an article two days before it's due, but even that is rare.

So in some of my free time this summer, I got to thinking about what would make a good "enterprise" piece that I could realistically do.

Enterprise journalism, as I understand it, is essentially like ESPN's "Outside The Lines" except in print. This variation of reporting goes beyond the stats and relates something in sports to something more relevant to real life, and usually in more words than the 475-750 I typically get for a story.

Now, I'm fully convinced that I'll never be capable of writing anything half as riveting as the stories Outside The Lines, but I did finally get to TRY an enterprise journalism with my piece on social media in college football. It's not great. I wish I had gotten more on the use of direct messaging in recruiting. But I enjoyed mixing local and national sources to localize a national story.

And for the record, I was at SEC Media Days.

I went with the Peyton Manning/Johnny Manziel lead, because, why not? My audience is UT fans, and even though it doesn't work great, it sort of works because of the time frames and because of how crazed people are for Manning around here. Because of that I feel like it can help readers see the magnitude of Manziel's abuse of Twitter.

Yellin expressed immediate acknowledgement of the bit on coaches celebrating verbal commitments when I asked him about it. But he had to be careful with his words and I appreciate his time in helping a silly student journalist.

I legitimately think this is the first article I've ever written that's over 1,000 words. It's more of  a perspective piece than some hard-hitting thing that will make your jaw drop.

Anyway, hope it kept your attention, and hopefully I can do some more things like it once football season slows down.

Here's the link to just the online version of the story: