Quantcast 2011 NHL News & Updates: Hockey Writing
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The Many Types of Hockey Writing

 

Writing about hockey is, for quite a few people, a dream job. The idea of being allowed to make a living writing about their favorite sport is an incredible one, and those who are given this opportunity are very devoted to their craft. But there are many different sides to being a hockey writer - networking, organization, writing - and the last one is a lot more varied than most people would assume.

The bulk of hockey writing is news, and this is the most important aspect of the journalistic craft to master, because journalism literally means journaling what is happening within the field you are specializing in, whether it's hockey, Party Poker, medicine or architecture. But there are a few methods, from print journalism teachings, that will improve your skills immensely.

First - learn the rule of five - what, when, why, how and where. Make sure all these facts are in your first paragraph, traditionally called your "standfirst." The reason for this is not only because it's more informative, but also because print journalists need to write with the possibility of cuts in mind. A ten paragraph article might get chopped down to one, but still needs to work with no editing.


Interviews are also a major part of journalism, and will be featured in both your news and feature writing, and will sometimes become the entire feature itself. It is important to make sure you are equipped with two things - a good recording system, and well-thought out, easily adaptable questions.

The reason for these is simple - you can't risk losing your interview recording, even if you can write in shorthand (a journalistic method of writing in abbreviated language to quickly note something down, usually a short quote or points made by a speaker in a press conference). The other is that sometimes the interview subject will change tack or answer both the current and a later question, so you need to be able to get a good amount of material without letting them ramble on one topic for too long.

Lastly, you'll be writing features, and these can be anything - player spotlights, interviews, columns, investigative pieces (although technically all journalism should be investigative, but this usually refers to journalism specifically designed to expose something hidden to the public readership) and so on.

Journalism requires you to be a jack of all trades, and a master of all of them, too, so work hard and keep flexible, and you'll soon find yourself pulling in assignment after assignment. Good luck.

 

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