Competing for Success

By Laura Quinones

International live events can be one of the most exciting and challenging times for sports journalists. Media coverage is at its prime in these events and networks scramble to air footage before their competitors. For events such as the Olympics, audiences expect faster updates, athlete interviews, and 24/7 coverage. Covering a major event can get complicated and luckily social media has made the job a little easier. Even with this, there are a few simple rules a sports journalist must follow to succeed in covering international live events:

1)Be prepared:

A good journalist must always be prepared and organized. Professionals must be doing background checks, visiting venues, checking communication channels, updating social media, and seeing where the athletes will be. They need to do everything in their power to stay ahead of the news and remain updated on events. Being organized will help to effectively communicate with their audience and contribute to more viewers. They must ensure that they have a strategic social media plan that allows them to rapidly share information with their audiences, such as the use of hashtags.

2)Keep updated:

Professionals must always be updated, especially for live events. They must stay in touch with their network and all of their coworkers. Teamwork is very important, as everyone will be striving to get all the footage taped, reviewed and uploaded as well as creating interactive content for fans to use. They must also keep updated with the fans. Thanks to social media, journalists can get immediate feedback on coverage and see what their audience is paying attention to in all communication channels. 

3)Make people care:

Professionals in sports media act as the liaison between the athletes and the fans. Journalists have two main roles: to find the best story and to be the ones that the audience goes to first.  While the sporting event is the main point, it is important to focus on other aspects as well. Their job is not only to think about the scope of the events but also to discover an interesting context, story, or testimony from athletes or fans. Most of the time they can connect stories with what is going on with the community, fans, and social media. For example, tying the 2016 Olympic games with relevant topics such as the zika outbreak and athlete prevention might be a new way of enticing new audiences. It’s important to get people to care about an athlete’s journey or a sport’s competition. Journalists usually select facts and embed them into a relevant story that will attract audiences. If journalists can create a story arc, character development or a creative angle to follow, fans are more likely to tune in. 


4) Become involved:

Journalists need to also be involved at the live event.They must be engaged involved with the staff, athletes, coaches, and families. With live events, it’s crucial to establish a connection with your surroundings and be at the right place at the right time.It’s important to be involved in many different media platforms such as Snapchat, which has its own coverage for live events such as the Olympics. Staying involved enables you to find new angles on stories and have unique footage to show audiences. With all the world watching, journalists scramble to find a way to put their voice into a story. Don’t be afraid to try something new because the inspiration for a story can strike at any time.

These four tips are sure to bring success in the faced paced environment of international events. It’s important that professionals do these simple things in order to stay on top of things. International events are very demanding, but the work pays off every time.