Be you an aspiring newscaster or sportscaster, developing good working relationships with potential sources is undeniably critical to your success. Here’s more in this brief excerpt from my upcoming textbook: Sportscasting: Performance, Production and Career Development being published by Focal Press
“Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.”
Of all the available resources listed earlier in this chapter, none is more important than the people who are in some way connected with the team, the school or the individuals you cover as a sportscaster. That includes the players, the coaches, the general managers, the athletic directors, the media relations directors, equipment managers, agents, promoters—just about anyone who draws a paycheck from sports. Resources such as websites and game notes are great for information and the latest statistics. Newspapers, magazines, blogs and the like can provide in-depth background and interesting fodder (all of which needs to be verified!). But it’s the relationships you form with the people you cover that can add a unique dimension to you as a sportscaster.
To wit, a sports anchor who is tethered to the studio with minutes to go before air gets word of a rumored trade, but a quick call to the team’s general manager, who he’s known for years, accurately refutes the rumor. Perhaps a talk show host has a relationship with a player who tips him to the fact that the manager has told him he’s going to put him in the starting lineup for the first time this year. Then there’s the play-by-play announcer who is accorded a private meeting with a coach who gives him insight on what to look for in the game that night.
Forming good, long lasting, trusting relationships is an art, an art that takes time, patience and people skills. And while not considered mandatory by some, it is often the by-product of your physical presence at games, practices, news conferences and other team-related functions.