An Insider’s View on Sports Reporting w/CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora
Thriving in any facet of the sports industry requires embracing challenges and stepping outside your comfort zone. Sports journalism is no exception. The original job description for a sports journalist included tasks such as crafting 5,000-word feature stories, writing game recaps on a tight print deadline, and working with sources to get important information out to the public. While those duties were already intense, sports journalism careers have evolved to encompass an even wider array of responsibilities as the industry has become more multimedia focused.
With newsrooms shrinking, the reporters who remain on staff have more on their plates. While the written word is still crucial, we are also a visual society. Therefore, reporters have adjusted to build their skills in speaking on camera.
When you flip on CBS for NFL Today, you’ll find several reporters sharing news, insight, and emerging storylines on camera at stadiums across the country. Those same reporters are also expected to be active on social media, and true to form, they have amassed a large following on all platforms. There, they can break news as it happens instead of waiting for their next on-camera appearance.
Our WorkInSports Podcast guest, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, shows how to become a sports reporter in an ever-changing industry. La Canfora graduated from Syracuse and became a successful beat writer for the Detroit Free Press and covered the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings when they were dominating the NHL in the late 90s.
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That assignment could have justifiably been the pinnacle of his career, but he continued pushing through challenges and headed due east to The Washington Post, where he was the beat writer for the Washington Football Team. La Canfora’s work on that beat drew attention from NFL Network, who wanted to put him on camera.
For a season that only lasts a few months starting in the fall, the NFL has made itself into a 24/7/365 powerhouse in the sports industry. With so many eyeballs glued to every scrap of content the league produces, standing out among the pack and climbing to the top in the field is difficult.
Today, La Canfora is plying his trade as a sports reporter with CBS Sports. He joins Brian Clapp on the WorkInSports Podcast to cover a wide range of topics, including:
1. Why he decided to pursue a sports journalism career.
2. How he landed a position with the Detroit Free Press right out of college.
3. How important having a versatile skillset is in a multimedia environment.
4. What role social media plays in sports reporting.
5. How to secure a bevy of trusted sources for reporting the ins and outs of a sport.
Catch all of Jason La Canfora’s wisdom wherever you listen to your podcasts, and be sure to subscribe to the WorkInSports Podcast to help build your sports career!
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