By ASHLEY SCOBY
We’ve all heard the phrase “one-man band,” but an AWSM session at this year’s conference led credence to the “one-woman show.” Laken Litman of USA TODAY Sports, Heather Dinich of ESPN, Rachel Whittaker of NOLA.com and Lilliana Pastor of ESPN came together to discuss all the different responsibilities included in their jobs.
Everyone knows the score of a game now, thanks to Twitter, so journalists have to be 10 times more creative in order to grab attention of readers.
Whittaker is a sports reporter at the New Orleans Times-Picayune who hosts a daily four-to-six minute online show discussing the Saints on NOLA.com, and she is responsible for other video and print sports stories.
Litman is a social enterprise writer for USA Today and reports on the most widely-discussed topics in the sports world, including viral content. She’s also responsible for sometimes producing her own viral content, like when she produced the video of Ohio State’s national championship celebration.
Dinich covers the College Football Playoff for ESPN.com. She writes weekly pieces discussing her top 25 college football teams, produces her own videos discussing the playoffs for ESPN.com, writes columns throughout the week, and prepares for SportsCenter segments.
Pastor produces highlight content for ESPN, including those used on SportsCenter.
Instead of just writing one story from an event, journalists have to incorporate video, photos, social media and multiple stories. Litman, for example, spoke about her coverage of the first-ever college football playoff national championship, which included the video footage of Ohio State’s locker-room celebration. In a world where viral content is key, this was just something extra that she had to add onto her responsibilities.
Dinich had similar experiences to share: She didn’t go to school for broadcast journalism, but she quickly had to learn how to produce her own analysis videos, prepare for SportsCenter segments and still write for ESPN.com. Journalism jobs – especially in sports – are no longer about just having one specialty, but about being good at a variety of responsibilities.
The biggest part of being a one-woman show? Constantly showing that you know what you’re talking about. Pressure is always on women in sports far more than male sports journalists.
“I’m a female on TV, and I want people to know I know what the hell I’m talking about,” Dinich said. “I’m an analyst and there aren’t a lot of female analysts out there.”