Class 1 Syllabus … Journalism 4700

Journalism professor Melvin Mencher has called the Sports section one of the most heavily read parts of a daily newspaper — a sports website, too. Mencher, who has written several journalism textbooks, is right, which explains why daily newspapers (and online websites as well) are pouring so much money and manpower into their coverage of sports.

“The nation is made up of fans, many of them experts on the games they follow,” Mencher once said.

Those fans expect a lot. Yet, too often, these men and women who fill the arenas and stadiums, and who help TV ratings soar are disappointed in what the media provide. With increasing pressures on newsroom budgets and the rapid development

of sports on the Internet, readers are seeing too much sports journalism that is sloppy, cliché-ridden, incomplete and downright boring.

How can that be?

The thrills and the human emotions of sports lend themselves to riveting prose. At its highest level of execution, that writing is the best daily newspapers and magazines have to offer. The writing takes readers places they cannot easily go; it brings the life of an athlete into their living rooms; and it captures the essence of competition – the good, the bad and the horrific.



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