The RequirementsTo be a good fit for the role of Sports Trend Reporter, you will have:
- A bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field, or the equivalent experience
- A minimum of one to two years of journalism experience with a proven ability in reporting and writing; success reporting sports and/or news
- Deep knowledge of national, state and local (Penn State) sports combined with the ability to identify trends, and provide statistics, analysis, and opinions
- Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience
- An outgoing personality and the ability to deliver not just copy, but occasional radio or television interviews
- The ability to work independently under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately
- A solid understanding of news writing, journalistic ethics and story structure
- Experience with search engine optimization practices
- Experience taking and editing photos and recording audio and video
- Mastery of social media and digital interaction; experience using social media to source and promote content is a plus
- Basic HTML or equivalent web language is a plus
- Demonstrated capability in capitalizing on high-value topics by engaging audiences frequently and with urgency
- An understanding of the methods and tools used to deliver content across a variety of platforms such as Moveable Type CMS, SCC Budgeting and Archiving System, smartphones, etc.
- An understanding of the imperatives of multiple platforms including print, mobile, Internet, etc.
- Proven ability to utilize a broad set of tools to tell stories and engage the audience
- The drive to stay abreast of industry advances and proactively consider new methods of reaching audiences including engagement, interactive and optimized product offerings
- A smartphone; other equipment will be supplied
- The ability to work a flexible schedule that includes nights and/or weekends
- The ability to speak Spanish is a plus
The RoleAs Sports Trend Reporter, you will report to the Sports Manager and be responsible for covering sports from the local to national level. You won’t just keep abreast of sports-related news; you’ll be ahead of the curve, seeing trends, anticipating outcomes, and working stories before they catch the attention of the national media. You’ll know what is happening at Penn State: who the recruiters are looking at, the relevance of a game, and the significance of the bigger picture. This role is for a journalist who has fun – who lives and breathes sports, but can also handle a hard-hitting news story. On a daily basis, you’ll spend the majority of your time in the field, working independently, covering stories, taking pictures, shooting video, and posting. You’ll be self-directed and motivated, attend the important games and events, and know what’s driving your assignment at any given time.
You will need to be 100% dedicated to the digital platform. While you might collaborate with an editor for The Patriot-News, you will not be working with print media. You will post your work to PennLive.com and other platforms in real time and interact with readers via social media. Because of the way digital media works, as you generate stories, it will be up to you to generate interest as well. For example, you might promote a story as breaking news on Twitter, jump into conversations on Facebook, employ tagging techniques (in line with regulatory standards), or create a blog. This is the future of news and we expect you to use every available tool and keep up with the technology as it evolves.
Specifically, you will:
- Provide opinion and analysis as the authoritative voice for sports media coverage
- Gather information and write journalistically sound news elements for use in all media platforms, existing and future
Your work should be:
- Balanced and factual
- Timely and topical
- Well-sourced and contextually correct
Learn and employ techniques for effective digital reporting across all platforms, including but not limited to:
- Frequent, incremental posting throughout the day
- Story aggregation and topical link-posting
- Monitoring and engaging in reader-comment streams on PennLive.com and other platforms
- Elevating comments into new posts when appropriate
- Interacting on social media platforms by using story shares and objective commentary to promote the news organization’s content initiatives
- Understanding and employing the means for monitoring audience interest and competitors’ posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds
- Work independently and remotely, while maintaining operational communication with the editor and, when applicable, the production center
Have solid working knowledge and the ability to use hardware, software and cloud-based equipment and systems for direct-to-web production and engagement, including but not limited to:
- Taking photographs and short videos, and posting them to the web as well as uploading to any internal production systems
- Using laptops and smartphones for remote web reporting
- Using the Moveable Type content management system, and any future CMS
- Understand our news organization’s audience-traffic-tracking systems and analytical reports
Keys to SuccessWe are looking for a dynamic reporter who has strong skills with digital and social media, can capture the excitement of a variety sports played at various levels, have deep knowledge of the trends, teams, statistics, etc., and act as a strong voice offering opinions, analysis and more. To excel in the role you should have a knack for seeing the big picture and identifying key stories before they explode onto national media. You’ll have exceptional relationship-building abilities in order to develop a network of sources, collaborate with other sports and news professionals throughout PA Media Group, communicate with your audience and drive interest in the story. Success will require the motivation to work in the field alone, most of the time, and take ownership of your work.
We’ll expect you to produce clean, solid copy, quickly and accurately, and post to multiple platforms daily. Every reporter within PA Media Group practices watchdog journalism, and in this coverage area, it is critical. It’s up to you to be acutely aware of what's happening in your area and in the industry. You'll be responsible for covering events, trends and controversies, and for providing seasonal sports reports that consistently deliver exceptional quality and insight to the people of Central Pennsylvania.