Sportsjournalists.com: Sports journalism for dummies

By AUSTEN GREGERSON

Ever wanted to know what people who write about sports think about when they’re not writing about sports? Well, you have odd desires. But lucky for you, the Internet is big enough to fit some of the biggest egos in the country in one self-explanatory website: sportsjournalists.com

As its name would imply,  sportsjournalists.com is a site for journalists who write about sports. Inside is a series of message boards, where if one looks hard enough or asks the right question, a pretty useful tool could be found.

While it’s necessary to be approved for access to the site, once granted, an entire subculture of sports writers emerges. While fashioned in the same way as most other message boards, topics range from top sports/news story of the day, job openings, inter-profession gossip, to favorite beers.

The strongest point of the website is obviously the ability to ask an overwhelmingly knowledgeable source of experts for help. Whether it be information on something you’ve never covered before or who’s the toughest interview to get, any journalism-related question you have is bound to be answerable there.

However, that is not to say the site is without faults. One of the more frustrating aspects is the insistence to still use screen names. I understand this is the Internet and there is more than one Tim Smith in the world, but for a site that supposedly gears itself towards professionals in a very connected field, some name recognition wouldn’t hurt. Good advice from a guy writing for the Boondock Times is the same as good advice from someone from The Miami Herald, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful to know your source (sound familiar?).

Overall, the community of writers is informative, blunt, and very opinionated. If you ask a seemingly dumb question, prepare yourself to watch the one helping hand get squashed by the swarm of taunting replies that are sure to follow. These people are professionals, in general, and they will not have their time wasted online by someone who doesn’t understand the difference between “:” and “;”.

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