Friday, June 5, 2009

Back to school

By Nate Taylor

It is always interesting when the discussion comes up on how to talk to high school athletes. I know usually during the conversation, there will always be someone quick to make a joke about how bad a high school athlete was during an interview.

Sure, some of the jokes are actually funny stories since some of these athletes are usually being interview for the first time. Earlier today, I thought Eduardo Encina made an interesting comment on his attempt to get better quotes from high school athletes.

Encina, a reporter from The St. Petersburg Times, said high school athletes will become better interviewers with reporters if the reporters make them feel more comfortable by communicating they way they do. That means reporters use texting and other new technology to contact the high school source.

It’s something I want to try to do when I cover the local high schools again this fall. It’s a good idea from Encina. As reporters, we have to use the new technology to get high school athletes to talk to us more and better about their stories.

I just started covering high schools last fall for The Kansas City Star. It was a new adjustment for me to talk to high school athletes who are not always interview-ready when they answer questions.

So much of the way these athletes communicate is through the Internet or in text message. I still found it hard to believe that one person can send more than 20,000 texts in a month, but it does show that this is the way young athletes want to be approached when they want to talk to people.

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