News convergence the nature of the job at Comcast SportsNet

I cannot name one media outlet that produces sports content through broadcast only, without the Web. Chicago’s Comcast SportsNet shares its brand with one of the city’s largest cable television providers. However, Senior Editorial Producer Chris Clark has nothing to do with anyone’s cable bill.

Clark even recruits broadcast staff to produce Web content. According to Clark, some are initially against it, depending on their fear and grasp on the Internet. A great example of a broadcaster turned online reporter is Kip Lewis. While keeping himself glued to television, Lewis’s background gave him the knowledge and perspective to shell out great web stories.

Often, news convergence is easier than one may think. At Comcast SportsNet, the people are just as important as the stories they produce and report. Convergence incorporates much change, and Clark says it’s the nature of the job at Comcast SportsNet. He understands that operating Comcast SportsNet Plus along with Comcast SportsNet 2 requires a solid team of people who can run a television segment and get good content onto a webpage.

Of course, Chicago is a huge sports town. Comcast SportsNet shows all teams on television and the Web, including the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox. While a sportscast from the TV studio recaps a game, other writers have posted blogs and tweeted game highlights as the game clock ran out.

Comcast SportsNet shares with other media companies the priority of sourcing. Clark says the biggest challenge of internet reporting is figuring out who is credible and who is not, because anyone with a PC can claim to know information.

A good reporter may not reveal his source, but convergence today requires the source be a trustworthy one. This makes the deal regardless of where the content is seen, television or the Web.

Errors are bound to happen at some point, no matter how precautious reporters are. With the Web, Clark says tracking a wrong is easier with Web capability. The Internet allows us to correct an error instantly, and then release the correct update. With convergence, Comcast SportsNet can correct a broadcast error with the internet, maintaining the station’s credibility among viewers.

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Posted on January 30, 2012, in Online Sports Reporting Assignments - DePaul University and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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