Journalists prepare for March Madness

March Madness is practically upon us. It’s that time of the year when just about everyone becomes a fan of college basketball. Either way, it is finally time for journalists to begin coverage of the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sports Journalist Gus Johnson Covering a NCAA Tournament Game, Uploaded from http://gizmosland.com/tras/march%20madness%202011%20dates%20first%20round.html

Just how do journalists cover this massive annual event, or set of events?

Well, in case you’re curious, they start long before the tournament starts. All networks, like ESPN and CBS, who choose to provide heavy coverage of the tournament have had their journalists preparing for March Madness for a few months now. The journalists have done this with research about the teams, and by simply watching the teams perform. They have also been interviewing players and coaches. Sometimes, all of this information is put together to make predictions and analizations.

Robert R. Hoopes, Jr. of the Huffington Post
says that the recent work of sports journalists is very technologically based. This allows viewers to access the work of journalists instantly. That makes it necessary for journalists to work quickly to get their story out to the public. Only the product of some of this research and preparation is viewed by the public on the air. Preparing for March Madness is a much more vigorous task for journalists than one might imagine.

USC O.J. Mayo and CBS Sports Commentator Billy Packer, Uploaded from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/81472234/Sports-Illustrated

Even journalists who work for small stations who are not broadcasting the game do a lot of work in order to provide high-quality coverage of March Madness. Matt Cullen, a sports reporter and sports anchor for WEAU-TV out of Eau Claire said, “I spend hours analyzing the tournament before and after it starts. The best part about it is having to watch basketball as part of my job.” So while covering March Madness may be a bunch of work for journalists, it can also be very fun and very rewarding work.

If you were a sports journalist, what would be you favorite part about covering March Madness?

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