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NSJC Pod 0002 – Dr. Molly Yannity

We’re back with our second episode of the NSJC Pod, a weekly podcast dedicated to sports journalism issues.

On this week’s pod, we sit down for a discussion with Dr. Molly Yannity, an assistant professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University and a former professional sportswriter. We covered a lot of ground with Molly, including her career path, her research interests and focus in journalism, the changing face of journalism education, the financial issues with access to internships in journalism, the importance of mentorship, and more.

You can listen to the pod here:


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Two-fold trouble in Texas – on field, on social media

When Charlie Strong took over the head coaching job at Texas before the 2014 season, everybody acknowledged that there was plenty of work to do before the Longhorns could become an elite program again. But seeing how high school talent is abundant throughout the Lone Star State, it was hard to imagine UT would be floundering for too long.

After last Saturday’s 50-7 blowout loss to Texas Christian, Strong’s status isn’t exactly sturdy. It’s unlikely he’ll be fired after just two seasons at the helm, but there are some pretty angry folks in Austin right now as Strong and the 1-4 ‘Horns try to figure things out.

The situation wasn’t helped over the weekend by a series of social media incidents that created questions about the team’s unity and demonstrated just what can happen when someone doesn’t think too carefully before sending out a tweet.

The first trouble started during the TCU loss, when a member of the Texas Rangers’ social media department made the mistake of tweeting “Fire Charlie. # Bye” from the baseball team’s official account. The person must have thought he was using his personal account and paid a heavy fee for his error: After apologizing in a statement, the Rangers announced that the offending party had been fired. It’s possible to sympathize with the person who goofed, but the mistake demonstrates to everyone just how important it is to be careful when using social media. Access to multiple accounts can cause problems, and it is vital to be careful when releasing any critical or strongly worded information on social media – whether it comes from a personal or an official account.

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Roundup: What’s important in sports journalism

Here is your weekly roundup of interesting and important pieces of sports journalism, along with examinations of the world of sports journalism and sports media in general. Compiled and written by NSJC assistant Stephanie Stremplewski, the list this week includes a look at the Ricketts family who own the Cubs, women in sports journalism, overtime in sports media and a European company aiming to be the “Netflix of sports.”

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NSJC Pod 0001 – Patrick Hruby

We’re going to be trotting out a lot of new features here at the NSJC website over the next few months, and we’re happy to unveil the first of those features today. It’s the inaugural episode of the NSJC Pod, a weekly podcast dedicated to sports journalism issues. 

On this week’s pod, we had a chance to talk with Patrick Hruby, who has certainly made a name for himself as a provocative and interesting sports journalist over the past 15 years. We talked with Patrick about several aspects of the business, including:

  • What’s changed the most about sports journalism over the past 15 years
  • The use of social media as a reporting tool
  • Writing about “outside the lines” topics, and the public’s willingness to entertain them today
  • The important things that aspiring sports journalists should know

You can listen to the pod here: 


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Can this really be 2015? Women attacked on social media for covering sports

This past Sunday, not too far into the Eagles pre-game show I co-host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, someone with 26 followers referred to me as a “hack” on Twitter. I resisted the urge to fire back at him, because if someone has that few people who care about what he tweets, he isn’t worth my time. Plus, I had more important things to do – like pick the Birds to win, even though just about everybody else had the Jets.

Yes, I am aware of the theory involving that blind squirrel and a nut.

Anybody who spends time in the media will endure a number of shots. People who disagree with us now have an outlet for their dissatisfaction that goes beyond a call to a local sports radio station or a post on an Internet bulletin board – not to mention the old-fashioned letter to the editor. Twitter allows them to reach each of their followers, those of the person to whom they are responding, and through the proper use of hashtags, a much larger audience.

If those tweeters are fortunate enough to have their targets respond, they can increase their social media profiles considerably, particularly if the people with whom they are corresponding have large followings, rather than my much more modest collection of acolytes.

Putting up with folks like the one who questioned my credentials is part of the 21st century media job. However, the women who have to suffer the outrageous, profane, disgusting and hateful remarks directed at them is another thing all together. Monday, Julie DiCaro wrote a piece on detailing the vulgar posts with which she has had to deal during her time on Twitter. She also reported on the filth that has been sent the way of other women. It was an extremely graphic column, but it had to be that way, the better to show everyone what she and other women must experience.

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Answering your questions: Sports Journalism at IU

The announcement of a partnership between The Media School and the Cuban Center has generated quite a bit of feedback. Much of it has been positive, but there have been some valid and understandable concerns raised about the partnership and what its potential implications are for sports journalism on the IU campus. The purpose of this post is to discuss those concerns, and provide answers to them.

  • How will this partnership affect the practice of student sports journalism on the Indiana University campus?

Nothing about how student sports journalism is conducted on the Bloomington campus will change as a result of this partnership. All student media outlets are independent operations, and they will continue to be so. The Indiana Daily Student, WIUX, IUSTV, and IUSportCom are not in any way affected by this, and their faculty advisors are dedicated to preserving the independence of each media outlet. Our student media have a proud history of independent coverage of many areas, including IU Athletics, and that will remain untouched by this agreement. 

  • Why is the National Sports Journalism Center a part of this agreement?

The NSJC entered into this agreement for several reasons, but the primary one is to safeguard the practice of independent sports journalism by students on the Bloomington campus. We are here to work with student sports journalists from all of our outlets to help them understand their rights and responsibilities as journalists, provide them support and education, and create a positive learning environment.

  • Isn’t it unusual for the National Sports Journalism Center to enter into a partnership with a non-journalistic entity such as IU athletics?

Not at all. The NSJC has a long history of partnering with sports organizations for internships. Past partnerships have included guaranteed internships with the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, NCAA, and several national governing bodies of USA Olympic Sports. These partnerships have allowed students valuable hands-on experience in making media, and have led directly to jobs in many cases.

  • What are you doing to ensure that students understand the different roles that will be available to them in The Media School?

Students in our academic programs are regularly informed of the differences between sports journalism and other forms of sports communication. This information is disseminated both through our standard journalism and media courses, and through other extracurricular clubs and gatherings related to the school. We make it clear to students that their responsibilities and duties differ significantly in these roles, and we work with our students so that they are best able to negotiate these differences. We also offer advice and support services to students who might experience confusion in these areas, and we offer advocacy for students who operate as sports journalists through our existing student media outlets.

  • How will the partnership work?

The partnership consists primarily of internship and work opportunities offered by the Cuban Center that will be available to students at The Media School. These opportunities include access to cutting-edge technology, particularly in the areas of virtual reality, digital replay, virtual studio broadcasting, and advanced video services. Students are under no obligation to take part in any Cuban Center activity, and these opportunities will not cross over into coursework. It is our hope at the NSJC at that students who are interested in these areas will be able to take full advantage of the technology in order to improve their employment prospects in sports media. This includes traditional sports journalism jobs, particularly in broadcasting, which continue to transition towards the regular utilization of emerging media.

It is also important to remember that The Media School consists of a wide array of students with a variety of interests and desired career paths. The partnership between the Cuban Center and The Media School is intended to provide opportunities to all of those students, not solely those involved in student media.

  • What if I have additional questions or concerns not addressed in this post?

I invite you to contact me directly at I welcome all feedback regarding the National Sports Journalism Center, and I am happy that we have so many alumni who are invested in our students being given the best possible education as journalists.

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Networks can’t get enough of fantasy games – and that’s not a good thing

Perhaps the only thing more annoying than sitting through all three-plus hours of the desultory Eagles-Cowboys game Sunday was the avalanche of commercials by fantasy football sites FanDuel and DraftKings. The companies’ spots were often aired back-to-back, so fans were left to wonder whether they should play DraftDuel or FanKings and if the promo code “Confused” was appropriate.

Fantasy football is hardly a new phenomenon. It has been gaining big momentum for more than a decade after beginning more than 30 years ago as a little brother to “rotisserie” baseball. These days, if you ask someone how his team is doing, he is more likely to reference an injury to his starting fantasy QB or a crisis among his receiving corps than he is to discuss his local NFL squad’s shortcomings (Hello, Eagles, Seahawks and Colts) or surprising start (The Jets, Falcons and Panthers are 2-0!).

Nothing, not even illegal gambling, has done as much to help the NFL’s overall popularity as has fantasy football.

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