Going Beneath the Surface

It’s an understatement to say that I love sports. Since a young age I have been good at just about every sport I have played, including basketball, baseball, and soccer. I’m one of the guys who get fantasy updates on my phone. So it’s only natural that I was drawn to ESPN and the programs that it has to offer.

But in the world of quick-hit news, where readers/viewers just get the maximum number of stories and the bare minimum in content, it’s nice to see news, especially sports news, that goes in-depth on certain issues. One such program is Outside The Lines, or OTL. It can be seen on ESPN during certain times of the day, and stories also can be found on the website. I find it refreshing to go in-depth on a topic, rather than just hear about it for a couple minutes before moving onto the next. OTL takes the biggest stories in sports, both on and off the field/court, and invites a panel of guests to discuss them.

The OTL episode I watched today went into whether Michael Vick could ever show enough success on the field to make people forget that he was in jail for 18 months.

But stories go beyond professional athletes and tackle other issues that go beyond the sport. For example, there is a story on the only female FOOTBALL coach in the United States. There is also a story on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative brain disease suffered by people with concussions for other head injuries. Another talks about the life of former Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry and his tragic death at the age of 26.

Need I go on? The point is that none of these videos would ever be seen on other sports shows and their respective websites. And what’s better yet, most of the stories are put together as actual news packages, very similar to what I’m trying to do for my broadcast class. These are prime examples of how to tell a story visually, holding back surprises and dropping them in to add layers to the story.

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