<![CDATA[Christopher Chavez - JOUR 4932]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 21:46:06 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Covering Track and Field Between the Olympic Games]]>Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:41:48 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/covering-track-and-field-between-the-olympic-games
Flotrack is one of the leaders in running coverage with over 60,000 visitors every day and 1,000,000 hits a month.
Track and Field is one of those sports that is put on a pedestal when the Summer Olympic Games roll along every four years. The attention of millions of people is focused on whether or not elite runners like Jamaica's Usain Bolt or Kenya's David Rudisha can break their own world records on the world's biggest stage. Inspiring stories like that of double amputee Oscar Pistorius also come along and everyone starts to root for the feel good story. But where is that attention and passion for the sport in the three years between Olympics?

In order to make the Olympic Games, athletes have to hit a certain mark and compete against other elite athletes to prove they are worthy of a shot at medaling for their country. Some of the more interesting races and battles take place within those trials. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, a world record was set in the decathlon and an American record fell in the 10,000-meter race. But not too many people heard about these stories until those athletes went on to succeed in London. 

I have decided to dedicate one of my final projects in my sports journalism class to uncovering where the attention to track and field goes in the three years between the Olympics. Factors that come into play are television coverage, athlete recognition, sponsorships, fan base locations, and other media attention. 

I will be speaking to members of the media that cover track and field and professional athletes to get their take on the public's attention to the sport. Research can be done into the numbers of viewers that watched athletics on broadcasts of Olympic Games and how many people view telecasts of NCAA Championships that do end up on networks like ESPN. 

I believe that my project and presentation will reveal a lot about a sport that many people overlook as being entertaining, mainly because of its lack of contact. Runners are deserving of making SportsCenter's Top 10 even when it may not be at the Olympics.
<![CDATA[Price Steals Cy Young Award and Tampa Bay Times Coverage]]>Thu, 15 Nov 2012 20:49:26 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/price-steals-cy-young-award-and-tampa-bay-times-coverage
The poster of David Price was just one of a few ways that the Tampa Bay Times honored the Cy Young Award Winner.
Since David Price debuted for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, there has always been talks of the great pitcher he would one day be for the team. On Wednesday afternoon, Major League Baseball awarded Price with the Cy Young Award, given to the best pitcher in the league as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association. 

Price beat out Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who won the 2011 award along with the Most Valuable Player Award, by a mere four points. The Rays ace won 20 games for his team, which also tied for the Major League lead of the year. It was about time that the voters recognized the importance of Price's wins after he lost the award in 2010 to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, who had a record of 13-12. 

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones recognized Price's honor by ranking the best awards in Tampa's past 70 seasons across all sports. He was ranked third behind hockey and football award winners. Before the award winners were announced, columnist Gary Shelton voiced his support for Price as the best fit for the award. 

I was pleased to see the incorporation of a video where Price talks about winning the award, yet there could have been more on the site. I will admit that the poster of Price in .pdf version is nice to have linked. The pullout was in the print version of the newspaper. (Confession: I have a Mariano Rivera newspaper poster over my bed, so that the Sandman watches over me while I slumber.)

Being from New York, I am used to reading about MVP and Cy Young candidates every year. Having just two columns, the breaking news, and a video for the winner just does not suffice for me. This is the highest honor for a pitcher in baseball. They should be glorified for a few days. The sports writers should be out there getting analysis from writers that voted, teammates, opponents, etc. It is a big deal. 
<![CDATA[Sharif Durhams Shares Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Experience]]>Tue, 30 Oct 2012 19:27:45 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/sharif-durhams-shares-milwaukee-journal-sentinel-experience
Sharif Durhams of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, visited my sportswriting class last Thursday and shared his experiences as a journalist covering sports, being part of a breaking news team, and serving as the social media editor for one of Wisconsin's better known media outlets. With newspaper coverage evolving, he is one of the members of the Journal-Sentinel staff that has to keep up with the changes in how people receive the news. 

The way that newspaper companies make revenue is one of the biggest changes and that is where paywalls come in. Although people may not like seeing a subscription ad across their screen, readers often forget news reporting is a business as well. One fun fact that Durhams shared was that the sports department at the Journal-Sentinel found out that the difference in revenue in winning and losing a Super Bowl is one million dollars. 

Sports is one of the driving forces behind the traffic on the Journal-Sentinel site. Hundreds of people will visit it when breaking news is announced via Twitter, but no article has been posted just yet. The news is out there and now they just have to wait for the article about it and that's followed up by analysis. One story can be taken from different angles and result in a lot readers. 

Although I used to write for Bleacher Report, I am not a fan of the content on their site simply because of how a lot of the people that write on the site have no objectivity and very little backing to what they say. I no longer write for them and find it crazy that Tuner Sports paid so much for the site. All throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, Bleacher Report was advertised and it was at that moment when I realized how bad things are getting for real newspapers to be competing against such low quality sites like Bleacher Report. 

The Journal-Sentinel has the right idea with it's writers moving into the new era of reporting with a lot more interaction on their website. Tools like ScribbleLive help Packer Beat writers have live chats during the games. Interactive maps are something that can't be created by the users on Bleacher Report. These are the professionals with experience and they have started to get creative for the better of the paper's future. 

Durhams was very down-to-earth as a speaker for #LoweClass and brings that new era presence to the Journal-Sentinel staff that sometimes tries to stay old school. I am intrigued to see what the Journal-Sentinel has up its sleeves to move forward in the evolution of news. 
<![CDATA[The West Wing, Politics, Beer, & Twitter Headline #MUNieman]]>Thu, 25 Oct 2012 16:59:23 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/the-west-wing-politics-beer-twitter-headline-munieman ]]><![CDATA[Gators Getting Love Two Hours Away From Home]]>Mon, 22 Oct 2012 23:58:43 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/gators-getting-love-two-hours-away-from-home
The University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida is located two hours away from Tampa, yet the Gators managed to headline the Tampa Bay Times this weekend after their rebound season continues and they rise in BCS rankings. 

The Will Muschamp Era with the Florida Gators started in 2011 with a 7-6 record and fans were displeased as the football team had the most losses in one year since 1987. Rebuilding was the best way to describe the state of the team, but now two years in Muschamp has the team in contention for the BCS Title. 

The Gators are undefeated and the Tampa Bay Times is giving them the recognition that they deserve. So much so that Florida State's close game against Miami did not make the carousel on the sports page following the slim victory by the Seminoles. 

The writer that covered the team is quite experienced. Antonya English is on the staff and has been on the Florida athletics beat in the past, thanks to her days at the Gainsville Sun. She has been on the Gators beat all season, but in order to see her content you have to pick up the paper version of the paper or catch the carousel on the site at the right time on a Saturday. The Times was Seminoles country early in the season. 

Like most sites on Monday, the Tampa Bay Times relied on a newswire to put out the latest rankings updates. The article provided league updates and other notable games from the weekend. With South Carolina on their schedule next, the Gators have a consensus that their reference as "BCS title contenders" will continue to be tested. 
<![CDATA[Marquette University Welcomes Local Sports Executives]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2012 15:06:57 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/marquette-university-welcomes-local-sports-executives
The Marquette Tribune covered the "Career In Professional Sports" seminar last week.
Professor Herbert Lowe was rolling deep on Wednesday afternoon as his students went on multiple field trips throughout campus to live tweet several guest speakers. Three of the guest speakers were local sports executives for the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers as Gord Ash (Brewers Assistant General Manager), John Hammond (Bucks General Manager), and John Steinmiller (Brewers Media Relations Manager) spoke on a panel about breaking into the sports industry. 

I have always believed that breaking into the sports industry takes more than just talent, but a lot of networking and knowing people within in order to have an easier path into the business. Ash and Hammond cleared up that misconception by emphasizing the point of being ready for any opportunity presented. 

Ash started off selling tickets for the Toronto Blue Jays and eventually worked his way up to the general manager role. The Brewers brought him onto their staff in 2001 as a general manager. Ash was the man that drafted Roy Halladay in the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft and there he was sharing his expertise to college students.

John Steinmiller also worked his way up with the Brewers and is now one of the men that receives news about a trade or injury and it is his responsibility to put together a press release for the team. Miller shared some of the accounts that he follows on Twitter and underscored the importance of being well rounded in knowledge.

John Hammond was the most comical speaker in the room by cracking jokes about Twitter and telling stories about meeting the President and Bush not knowing who Hammond was until after the Pistons won the 2006 NBA Finals. Hammond may not be on Twitter, but when Joe Dumars was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Hammond was the first to know and could have broken the story. The Bucks general manager may be behind on the social media times, but he still interacts well with the young community growing up in a different era. 

Hammond never received a job he applied for and has never passed up on jobs offered to him. He does not appear to be moving from Milwaukee any time soon.

"The passion for sports in (Milwaukee) is tremendous," Hammond said.

I come from New York City, where a season is considered a failure if there is no ticker tape parade down Fifth Avenue after the championship. The passion for sports I have seen in my one year in Wisconsin goes beyond just wins and losses. People rock green and yellow Packers jerseys every Sunday to church and it is socially acceptable. No need to get me started on the fans at Marquette basketball games. The energy felt behind me in press row was electrifying. 

I aspire to break into the sports industry as a writer. My hope is to end up back in a big city like New York, but it has come to my realization that by becoming open to new opportunities you find environments with Milwaukee's passion.
<![CDATA[Tampa Bay Times Continues Playoff Coverage Sans Rays]]>Tue, 09 Oct 2012 00:41:30 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/tampa-bay-times-continues-playoff-coverage-sans-rays
The Tampa Bay Times' sports page has the South florida Bulls football team on the front page of their sports site. The Bulls lost to Temple on Saturday. Florida State was upset by NC State, but Tallahassee may be out of reach for full coverage. One of the funniest things that I noticed about the coverage on the site was the Yankees appearing on their carousel for top stories.

There's always been a belief that when people in New York decide to ride off into the sunset and retire, they head to Florida. That could a big reason why attendance is higher and Tropicana Field is louder when the Yankees and Rays play in Tampa Bay. The Yankees clinched the American League East and the Rays failed to make the playoffs, so why not please the older folks that still read the paper copy of the news and were once in New York?

The byline for the Yankees' recap article on the Times' site says "Times wire", so they are publishing newswire articles on the site and this point being the top story in Tampa. Not many of the teams were successful, so for the next few weeks I could be covering a beat and team reporting on disappointing performances throughout.

High school football started to headline on Monday night, so there is a chance that athletes younger than me will be the top stories in Tampa for sports. It makes me feel old, but it's always fun to pay attention to the stars of tomorrow. 
<![CDATA[Don Walker: The Don of Sports Business Blogging?]]>Thu, 04 Oct 2012 04:21:42 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/don-walker-the-don-of-sports-business-blogging
Don Walker's Twitter page. He may have over 3,400 followers, but he still interacts with his audience.
Sports are one of the most beautiful things that people can watch to pass time and enjoy themselves, but there is a whole other side to the industry beyond what is seen on the field. Meetings usually take place behind closed doors to discuss money and revenue to keep sports moving. 

Don Walker writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel bringing his audience the latest on what happens behind those doors and their implications on the future. A veteran of the journalism industry Walker is now moving onto covering politics and city hall, but his reputation among sportswriters remains with his Business of Sports blog. 

Browsing through the blog, he covers sports on all levels. From facility upgrades to ticket sales and commercials, Walker has fun with his posts by embedding videos and sharing links to be informative and yet entertaining towards his audience. 

As a huge run junkie, I was very pleased by his short posts on UW-Milwaukee planning new facilities for their track and field program. The UW-Milwaukee post showed that Walker may read and pay attention to student media in the area, since the UWM Post first reported the news about the new facilities. This made me wonder how much of The Marquette Tribune does he read in his spare time? 

I also enjoyed reading about Olympic runner Nick Symmonds' upcoming visit to Milwaukee. The Symmonds post was informative and provided all the details of when the Olympian is arriving and what he will be doing in Milwaukee. In the coming days, Google searches will be directing readers to Walker's page as the Lakefront Marathon creeps up. I originally saw this post when I was redirected by an article on Runners World. 

The blog has a sidebar where it shows tweets by Walker and people mentioning him in their tweets. Most writers would not show their mentions in their Twitter stream, because it may not always be positive feedback. Walker is very interactive with people reaching out to him and mentioning him and there was not much negatively said. This comes to show that Walker not only writes, but listens. This is something than many bloggers and writers tend to forget when they gain more followers and start to put themselves o
<![CDATA[ONA Awards Recognizes Best Presentation of News on the Web]]>Tue, 02 Oct 2012 19:42:03 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/ona-awards-recognizes-best-presentation-of-news-on-the-web
Timelines, Videos, Bios, and Maps put together by WESH Orlando on the Casey Anthony case
The Online News Association has put together an archive of some of the finest works of journalism by honoring pieces and their authors with awards since 2000. From breaking news stories to student journalism, a panel of judges select the best presentation of the news. ESPN is known as the worldwide leader in sports and they have lived up to that reputation by consistently putting together powerful profiles and stories. 

One of the biggest stories to hit sports and national news was the death of Pat Tillman by friendly fire in 2004. ESPN's Mark Fish wrote the piece "An Un-American Tragedy" months after the event by looking through documents and doing investigation. The piece is broken up into four parts, each dealing with a different question surrounding his death. Fish compiled photos and interviews to weave the story together over years. The characters of the story were those that knew Tillman and that were affected by his loss. Fish stayed in contact with them and never lost his story, which displays a lot of talent in his investigative reporting. 

Tillman's story was headlining ESPN for a while, but this made me think about ONA showing some love for stories that may not always be broadcasted on big networks. The Special Olympics were covered by the University of Miami School of Communication. The site put together video coverage and recaps for every day of the Special Olympics. People forget about how mentally challenged people are also capable of participating in sports and have those same dreams of success. Miami did an excellent job of finding people to interview about what this means to the parents and friends of those competing and the athletes themselves. This is a story beyond just winners and losers. 

Staying in the Florida-area, the Orlando Sentinel did amazing coverage of the Casey Anthony case on their Twitter page and being one of the bigger Florida newspapers, they received a lot of traffic and credibility when the trial was going on. I was surprised not to see them recognized by ONA, but the case was touched upon with WESH Orlando. The site has pretty much built a data base surrounding Casey Anthony and all of the people involved in the case. There is a timeline with articles, a video series, map, and who's who section where you can learn about the characters of the grim tale. The updates are on-going as the most recent article was about Casey Anthony's grandmother's death in late September. It's good to see the story constantly being tracked due to the magnitude it had on the American court system. 

One of the last pieces that I looked at also involved crime and that was the Associated Press' interactive map of the Virgina Tech campus after the shooting in 2007. The site included eye witness accounts, detailed facts of the crime, and photos of the scene. It did an excellent job of putting the audience member in the place of one of the people that survived that day. A lot of the country froze and watched as people awaited updates as to what was going on to people that were so far away from them. The AP recreated that day in an easy to navigate webpage. 

The ONA shows the importance of being well-rounded as a journalist and having the tools to create different forms of media to share a story and put your audience member in the times. 
<![CDATA[Politifact: Looking at the Truth Meters on the Tampa Bay Times]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2012 22:53:25 GMThttp://christopherchavez.weebly.com/jour-4932/politifact-looking-at-the-truth-meters-on-the-tampa-bay-times
Professor Herbert Lowe instructed his students to take a look at their respective beats and something the site does particularly well. On the Tampa Bay Times' site, the top advertisement has been Politifact since I was assigned the beat and I decided to check it out this week. Interestingly enough, the site has a branch that looks at statements made on the presidential campaign trail and looks at how much truth is behind them. 

The site takes a very objective approach and ensures that the audience is not lied to as they start to think about who they will vote for on Election Day. A journalist's main obligation to his audience is to report the truth. The Tampa Bay Times is ensuring that this is done in a simple way to follow. They have the speaker on the left-hand column, the statement in question in the middle, and the truth meter on the right. Underneath each meter is a very brief explanation as to why the meter reads as such. 

Reading the meter got fun when the site exposed how inaccurate the statements by the Government is Not Good political action committee is. All of their statements are false and in half the cases fall under the "pants on fire" category. I may not always be the most avid reader of political news, but this part of the site opened my eyes to not trusting everything that one side says without looking into the facts. 

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Wednesday night and I would highly recommend checking out the Politifact page of the Tampa Bay Times after the debate to see the dissection of statements made between the candidates.