By Michael A. Anastasi
Managing Editor, Salt Lake Tribune
We’re about a month out from APSE’s most exciting time of the year, our annual conference taking place in June in Chicago.
As always, the networking and opportunities to talk shop with your colleagues from across the country make this an event well worth the time from your ever-frenetic schedule. But I am particularly pleased with the professional development that we are offering.
And that makes this an event you won’t want to miss.
Working in conjunction with our partners from the Association for Women in Sports Media, we are presenting sessions that cover the array of what we do, from digital to print to management technique and story opportunity.
A look at the sessions and the accomplished pros that are participating:
· A year of scandal in college sports
Led by Ron Fritz of The Baltimore Sun, this general session looks at how the biggest stories across the nation were broken and played across various platforms. Panelists are Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, who was behind the coverage of Miami, and Emily Kulkus, who broke the Bernie Fine story.
· What’s going on around here? Effective communication with your team
This workshop, led by Carrie Cousins, recently of The Roanoke Times, and Ed Guzman, of the Washington Post, examines steps editors can take to improve intra-office communication. Further, it looks at techniques to help reporters turn their best stories into excellent centerpieces.
· Social Media and Ethics in Sports Journalism
Stefanie Loh, who becomes AWSM’s next president at the conference, leads this workshop. Loh is a reporter at The Patriot-News, which won the Pulitzer Prize for its breaking and reporting of the Joe Paterno story, and is joined by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated/SI.com, Robert Gagliardi of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle/WyoSports and Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. With Twitter becoming a ubiquitous reporting tool for sports journalists, the panel looks at how the responsibilities of journalists have evolved in regard to social media including Facebook and Storify among others. What are other challenges journalists may face?
· Branding your local coverage
This workshop is especially focused on smaller news organizations, where sports editors often have the responsibility of helping find content solutions that work for the bottom line. The panel is led by outgoing 3rd Vice President Ben Brigandi and features three other highly-successful sports editors of smaller new organizations that have made their coverage of prep sports pay off for their publishers as well as their readers, John Bednarowski of the Marietta Daily Journal, Courtney Linehan of the Times of Northwest Indiana and Eric Olson of the Northwest Herald.
· The Olympics: Everything you need to know
With the London Games beginning in July and a time difference that makes these Games perfect for our digital audiences, this general session provides tips and ideas on how to best cover them, whether you are there in person or not. Leading the discussion is Jerry Micco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a distinguished APSE Past President and the new chair of APSE’s Olympics Committee. He’ll be joined by Mark Jones of the USOC, former 3rd VP Greg Brownell of The Post-Star and Vicki Michaelis, veteran Olympics writer for USA Today and soon to be a Professor of Sports Journalism at Georgia.
· Ambitious Journalism
This workshop examines how editors — no matter how big the organization — can make the tough choices and commitment to producing thought-provoking and page-view successful enterprise in an era of dwindling resources. Scott Monserud of the Denver Post leads another group of fine editors who do that everyday at different levels. Tommy Deas of the Tuscaloosa News, Wyoming’s Gagliardi and Jason Stallman of the New York Times won’t simply explain how they do it, they’ll help inspire and explain how you can do it, too.
· What a Woman Wants
This workshop, led by APSE Triple Crown winner Lisa Wilson of The Buffalo News, examines the consumption of sports content by women and how it’s evolved over the last 40 years. We know women don’t simply want coverage of women’s sports. It’s much more complex and nuanced. Wilson will be joined by Mike Harris of the Washington Times, Amy Moritz, president of AWSM, and Shelley Smith of ESPN.
· The Re-emphasis on Sunday
We all know circulation generally has continued to decline, but the Sunday paper is making a comeback. Readers have more time on Sundays to spend with us, and they like the extra value of the big papers with their many ads and inserts. But it’s up to us to capitalize on this and deliver a product that’s worth their time and money. Led by Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic, this general session also features noted Sunday experts Jeff Rosen of the Kansas City Star and Mike James of the Los Angeles Times. They’ll help you understand ways to re-invest in the Sunday core product and the revenue it can drive, and how to integrate this approach with your digital strategy, since Sunday is usually the lowest traffic day of the week.
· Title IX: The legacy of 40 years
This capstone general session takes place on Saturday, June 23, the 40th anniversary of the Title IX legislation. Leader Karen Wall Bush will be joined by Marcia Keegan of ESPN and Joe Sullivan of the Boston Globe, who will engage in a thought-provoking discussion of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.
Deadlines for the conference are approaching. Consider registering today at apsportseditors.org or follow this link.
Michael A. Anastasi is president of APSE and a managing editor at The Salt Lake Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.