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The Difference Between a Good Sports Journalist and a Great One

Tim Franklin, Director – National Sports Journalism Center, Indiana University

Tim Franklin is an award-winning journalist who spent 17 years as a reporter and senior editor at the Chicago Tribune. He has also been the top editor at the Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Indianapolis Star. Now Mr. Franklin is the Director of the National Sports Journalism Center at his alma mater Indiana University, in this video he explains the key attribute that sets the great sports journalists apart from the rest.

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Watch the Full Tim Franklin Interview

Brian Clapp, the Founder of SportsTVJobs.com is a 12-year veteran of the Sports TV industry, having worked at both CNN/Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports Net as a Writer, Video Editor, Producer and News Director. “SportsTVJobs.com is the richest online resource for aspiring sports media professionals,” says Clapp “we have interviews with Sports TV experts, career advice, how to videos and access to over 3,000 sports jobs across the U.S., everything you need to pursue your dream job in the sports media world”.

Video Transcript

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SportsTVJobs.com: You’ve graduated many great sports journalists from your program – what would you say are the common traits exhibited by those who have had stand out careers?

Franklin: Passion. Its all about passion, its passion for storytelling, its having that curiosity to get the story and to want to get the story but everything starts with passion for journalism and passion for sports. You have to have both, because these are really hard jobs. Occasionally I’ll talk to students coming in to the program and they’ll want to be Mitch Albom or Sally Jenkins, or they’ll want to be the next Bob Costas or Joe Buck – which is great, but those folks work really hard to get to where they are.

The other thing is sports are played on nights and weekends and holidays and so you have to be willing to make those sacrifices to cover games and to be where the news is, so if you don’t have that passion and wake up in the morning when the alarm clock goes off and say “I’m going to go get it today” it can be drudgery. If you have that really burning desire to be great at it [being a sports journalist] to want to pursue it, then you know it’ll happen.

One Indiana University alum is Sage Steele the Sportscenter anchor for ESPN, who I think is a real rising star at ESPN, she’s a person who knew from an early age what she wanted to do and really pursued that dream and obviously it’s played out very well for her. It’s fun to see somebody who at that age knows what they want to do and then goes after it and then succeeds.