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Course schedule
(subject to change, so don't print out once and treat as gospel; refer back regularly)

Class session
Texts, Readings, Deadlines

Week 1: Aug. 24

Monday: Introduction

Wednesday: planning our work

Friday: Women's Volleyball & 'Battling Back'
Sspecial guest(s): Mika Robinson (and maybe Caitlyn Jansen)

Readings for Wednesday:

Week 2: Aug. 31

Monday: Interviewing

Wednesday: Mika back for interviews

Friday: Steven Hames, Viking Fusion, for overview of production day

Week 3: Sept. 7

No class Monday: Labor Day

Wednesday: Story collaboration

Friday: Working with our copy, learning AP Style

Deadlines Wednesday:

  • Advance on Emory volleyball match & season preview
  • Advance on "pack the house" events, hoola
  • News story on Brazil

Deadline end-of-day Friday:

  • All changes to print/web stories
  • Twitter reports
Read Ch. 2 for Friday

Week 4: Sept. 14

Monday: Game coverage, continue Ch. 2 discussion; discuss player profile assignment

>>Tuesday, Sept. 15: Volleyball home opener (Emory)

Wednesday: Getting ready for Oglethorpe

Special guest Friday: Sports broadcaster Dave Garner

Deadline Thursday, 11am: volleyball match reports (Earhart and Shaw)

Required Thursday: Fusion training by position on the webcast team

Week 5: Sept. 21

Monday: Game coverage, print and broadcast

Wednesday: Prep for volleyball coverage, assignments; press conferences and how to cover them

>>Volleyball v. Oglethorpe (conference opener); our class livestreaming the match

Friday: no class -- woo hoo!!

Covering Oglethorpe match, with press conference

Covering press conferences

Week 6: Sept. 28

Monday: Oglethorpe post-mortem, discussion of player features (first, last sentences)

Wednesday: Sports writing, structures, leads

>>Oct. 3 & 4: Volleball v. Hendrix, Rhodes (Mountain Day); >>Women's Soccer v. Centre, 2:30pm Sunday

Read Ch. 6

Deadline Monday: player personality profiles

Deadline Friday: profile revisions

Week 7: Oct. 5

Sports writing, types of stories

Headline writing

>>Oct. 10 & 11: Volleyball v. Sewanee, Centre

Deadline Monday: game coverage from over the weekend; photos for player profiles

Wednesday: Read Ch. 7

Due Friday: 2 good, juicy sports story ideas and 1 insightful sports column idea

Week 8: Oct. 12

Wednesday: Preparing for "This Week with Mika Robinson"

Friday: ESPN aptitude test

No class Monday: Fall Break

For Wednesday: 3-5 GOOD questions for Mika for the coach's show; All hands on deck for 1pm shoot over in The Cage

Camera: Brandon, Michael Shaw
Interviewer/host: Raven Wilson
TD: Michael Earhart
Post-production: Chantal, Austin

Deadline Friday: Photos for player features, updated Stromberg feature (Austin, Raven)

Week 9: Oct. 19

Monday: Sourcing, covering your beat

Wednesday: Writer's block, updates on projects and story assignments, column assignments

Friday: Prep for Game Day, Bob Lowe guesting on Sports Information

Oct. 24: Volleyball v. Millsaps, Gulf Coast State College
Oct. 25: Volleyball v. Birmingham Southern WEBCAST

Monday: Chapter 3; Wednesday: Chapter 5

Deadline 11am, Wednesday: game coverage/game reports (hard copy and electronic to Dr. Carroll)

Deadline 11am, Friday: news release on cancer awareness day with Berry Volleyball

Sunday: All hands on deck for B'ham Southern match

Camera: Imani, Raven, BC
TD: Michael Shaw
QB: Michael Earhart
Sports announcers: Austin. Blake
Graphics: Brandon
Audio: Chantal

Week 10: Oct. 26

Monday: Style, display copy, legal; decide press release subjects

Wednesday, Friday: Field assignments (no class) (BC at conference)

Monday: Read ch. 8

Deadline, 11am, Wednesday: Columns (email to Dr. Carroll at

Week 11: Nov. 2

Monday: Finishing Ch. 8

Wednesday: In the numbers (.ppt download)

Friday: Finish Ch. 9, Twitter reports, update on who is livetweeting what

Monday: AP sports style quizzes due

Wednesday: Read ch. 9; press release due

Friday: Headline exercise due; Twitter reports

Week 12: Nov. 9

Planning volleyball tourney staffing, finish up numbers/math, finish up ch 9

Social media strategy and policy

Monday's readings: one | two | three (just browse/scan through this long one)

Deadline: Wednesday, livetweeting a live sports event

Week 13: Nov. 16

Ethics | Applying BC's "Ethics as a Process"

Atomizing content

Review ch. 8 (ethics and legal)

Due Wednesday: 1-page response to The Ethics of Investigating Sports panel discussion

Due Friday: 'Offbeat' story ideas in the form of headline/deck combinations; One unit of sports content to be shared socially

Week 14: Nov. 23

Approving story ideas

Long form, magazine writing

No class Wednesday or Friday: Thanksgiving


Week 15: Nov. 30

Long form, magazine writing, part II

Due by noon, Thursday, Dec. 3: Offbeat stories, web-ready (links, photo, head, deck, etc.)

Due 11am, Friday, Dec. 4: Atomized content


Final exam: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 8-10am (Due: revised offbeat story ideas)

pepp patty

keep your eyes on the prize!

Some digital sources:


Course Description: Reporting, researching, writing and producing sports coverage, including game or event coverage, feature stories, opinion pieces, and multimedia packages. PR: COM 250.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of the course, students will

  • understand and apply the fundamentals of game and event coverage
  • understand the storytelling capacities of various media, including traditional and digital
  • learn to write in a range of journalistic forms, including narrative stories, all on deadline
  • learn the historical context of sports and sports journalism in the United States
  • explore career possibilities in the sports journalism industries

What you will need (required):

  • Stofer, Schaffer, Rosenthal. Sports Journalism: An Introduction to Reporting and Writing (Rowan & Littlefield)
  • Associated Press style guide

What you may want (recommended but not required):

  • A subscription to Sports Illustrated
  • Daily access to ESPN’s SportsCenter
  • A writer’s handbook
  • Allen Guttman, From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports
  • Gustave LeBon, The Crowd 

Stuff you need to know:

Professor: Dr. Brian Carroll
Office: Laughlin Hall 100
Office phone: 368.6944
Home page:
Blog: Wandering Rocks

Office hours: MWF: 1-4pm; T: 11-noon | by appointment | walk-ins are welcome


  • Attendance: Attendance is a part of your grade. Be here every day on time, just as you would for a job, surgery or even a haircut. Everyone gets one unexcused absence or late arrival, maybe two, with no questions asked. Stuff happens. After that, unexcused and/or unexplained absences (and/or lateness) will result in point deductions from the "professionalism and participation" portion of your grade -- one point for each unexcused absence and/or late arrival. What is excused is at the instructor's discretion, so you are best served by discussing situations and extraordinary circumstances prior to class whenever possible.
  • Distractions: This instructor is easily distracted. Ringing, buzzing or vibrating mobiles, therefore, will be lobbed out of the classroom window and/or run over with a truck. Chatter during lecture will result in "professionalism and participation" point deductions, as will Facebooking, texting or any other use of unauthorized devices during lecture or topic presentations, particularly after a warning has been issued. Do homework for other classes somewhere else. Leave your laptop at home. If you have to arrive late or leave early, clear it with the instructor beforehand whenever possible.
  • Preparation: Complete the assignments, do the readings and be ready to tackle the activities of the day. Be ready to discuss, even to debate.
  • Academic integrity: Because academic integrity is the foundation of college life at Berry, academic dishonesty will result in automatic failure on the assignment in question. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following: cheating, unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism, fabrication, submitting the same work in multiple courses, and aiding and abetting. For definitions of these terms, please consult the instructor. Additionally, violators will be reported in writing to the Provost. Students who are sanctioned for violating the academic integrity policy forfeit the right to withdraw from the class with a grade of “W.”

How you will be graded:

Dailies, syle quizzes 15%
Reporting projects 75%
Professionalism and participation 10%

For daily projects and blog posts, grades of check plus, check, check minus, and zero will be awarded. Roughly translated, check plusses = As; checks = Bs; and check minuses = Cs. The wide variability of subjectivity of these daily assignments, such as “bring in three examples of metonymic symbolism,” preclude a more precise grading scheme. The check system also facilitates a faster turnaround time.

To compute your final grade, add up your point totals, apply the appropriate percentages, then refer to the grading system summarized here:

59 and below

Definitions of the grades can be found in the Berry College Bulletin. “A” students will demonstrate an outstanding mastery of course material and will perform far above that required for credit in the course and far above that usually seen in the course. The “A” grade should be awarded sparingly and should identify student performance that is relatively unusual in the course.

Berry Viking code
Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the college’s life and work. The code is not just policy, it is foundational to the academic environment we enjoy and in which scholarship thrives. It is in force in this classroom.

For the complete Viking Code, please consult the student handbook. In short, each student is “expected to recognize constituted authority, to abide by the ordinary rules of good conduct, to be truthful, to respect the rights of others.” The College’s mission, in part, commits to a community of integrity and justice. During an era when ethics are sometimes suspect, there seems no higher goal toward which students ought to strive than that of personal honor.

Students with special needs
If you have special needs of any kind, including learning disabilities, please let me know. Come discuss it with me. I want to make sure on the front end that we prevent any problems associated with the course. The Academic Support Center suggests the following: “Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodation in this course are encouraged to contact the Academic Support Center in Memorial Library as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.”

Finally, I believe we are here for a good time, not a long time, so let’s have some fun!

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