News: Athletics

Sports journalism 2.0

By A.J. Moore

My guess is the image in your mind of what a sports journalist looks and acts like would resemble Chuck Bausman.

He's a veteran reporter who worked his way up the newspaper depth charts alongside various editors, photographers and columnists to eventually become the sports editor of the Philadelphia Daily News. At the newspaper’s helm, Bausman had to worry about tight deadlines when Philadelphia teams played in San Diego or Vancouver. He also had to calm down angry team executives upset with his newspaper’s coverage. That resolution usually came after a heated late-night discussion.

The game stories read by fans throughout the Delaware Valley over their morning coffee came as a result of quickly jotting down information and quotes on a notepad, then typed and sent off to editors and photographers for their group input.

We tend to think of sports journalists like Bausman, who is now an adjunct instructor in Rider’s Department of Communications and Journalism, as the prototype since his career coincided with a time when newspapers were king. Now that today’s college students are more likely to churn their own butter than pick up a newspaper, the time has come to tweak the picture in your head about what a sports journalist looks and acts like.

Think of the current sports journalist resembling Aaron Carter and performing his one-man band routine. Call Carter Chuck Bausman 2.0.

Instead of picking up the paper to read Carter’s high school and college coverage, his readers click on his links. Those stories first attract valuable eyeballs because Carter live tweets action from a Philadelphia gym and then highlights the article with his numerous Instagram posts.

Carter, also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication and Journalism, has carved out an impressive presence in a volatile industry by being able to perform many, if not all the tasks associated with sports journalism. He is a writer, videographer, editor and social media maven.

When Bausman was making a name for himself, those aforementioned roles were filled by various different people — today they are filled by someone with the last name Carter, first name Aaron and his trusty companion, the iPhone.

As Rider sports media students embark on their career paths, they are fortunate to be taught by both Bausman (@ChuckBausman) and Carter (@AceCarterINQ). These acclaimed professionals are in a valuable position to help guide students through a constantly evolving sports media landscape. In the classroom Bausman offers students insight on writing, reporting, ethics and professionalism. Those skills remain vital regardless of today’s new technology.

For Carter, instruction tends to focus on the importance of being able to tell a story across numerous digital platforms and then promote it on social media. Not only has the image of the sports journalist changed, so has the way students studying the subject matter are taught. Those stories you enjoy during a quick glance at the phone during a lunch break or a doctor’s office waiting room still have the same steak but must come with a modern sizzle. Today’s successful sports journalists look and act in a way that is a combination of both Chuck Bausman and Aaron Carter. Because these experts are now making significant classroom contributions, the future image of a sports journalist just might look like a Rider University student.

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