Reporters' Blog

BLOG: Aviso sports continues to evolve


With reality starting to set in as we take our first exams and realize how tough this semester will be I know there hasn’t been a lot of leisurely time.

Here is an example of another step in the ever evolving process for the sports section. Last Wednesday we covered a Pioneers home game and published it the next day.

Honestly, sorry to say but there never really is much of that in college, and because your life is crazy you may not have noticed  the evolution of the sports section over the last three years.

Let me take you back three years ago when I first started as sports editor for The Aviso AVW.

When I came into the job there was not a lot of foundation laid before me on how to organize, develop or run a sports section.

Before I was on staff for the paper, in fact, the sports section mainly consisted of “roundups”, which are just quick one graph summaries of games that happened a week ago that everybody already knew about.

Also there was a bit of trivia because the old print format lent itself to this style more appropriately, and there was an opinion piece that ran quite frequently about something with Pioneers sports.

Honestly, it wasn’t great, and I knew the section could do so much more. When I started working with the sports section in the fall of 2010 as sports editor I took many of my ideas and started to apply them.

Besides the paper-wide shift to online, some of the other changes I started implementing were getting rid of all game stories, unless on the weekends. Even on weekend game days I didn’t want to cover much because the sad reality of a weekly is that everybody knows what happened, and by next Tuesday nobody cares.

So for a good year and a half we cranked out a lot of good feature stories that focused more heavily on the team like the volleyball team story about their historic 2010 campaign or the player/coach with profiles like the one on Eric Coblentz.

My goal was to try and get the behind the scenes story, knowing that it was unlikely to produce any fresh or breaking news. Although, we did do a few breaking news stories with one day turnarounds like the GLIAC story. (Actually, that was on our paper’s site before the Malone athletics site.)

But by far one of the best features we have done with the sports section has to be the Pioneer Focus. It has had rave reviews and honestly is one of the best imprints I personally can say I helped leave on the paper.

Now though, going daily, I believe the sports section  really has the opportunity and a platform to shine because we can do both in-depth features and breaking news.

No longer are the days when I have to lament over covering the big game or hearing about an awesome news piece that I can’t put in the paper because it won’t be relevant by next week. By going daily, the sports section is finally starting to become whole.

For a long time it has been as if the sports section has only been a small part of what it can be, but now it can be complete.

We have already started this movement toward fulfillment as a section by covering a basketball game last week and turning it around for the very next day. To my knowledge, that is the first time that has ever happened with a game story and will continue to be a hallmark of the sports section.

It is the benefit of going to a daily publication cycle.

Honestly I know and can tell the sports section has come a long way since I started on staff three years ago and I anticipate continued evolution that will hopefully last when I’m no longer a Pioneer.

Chris Sherwood is sports editor for The Aviso AVW.

Categories: Reporters' Blog, Sports

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