Joe Schad of ESPN is a fine example of the by-product of the ever-changing journalism industry. The college football reporter began his career as a newspaper writer before moving on to ESPN Magazine and then the ESPN studios and ESPN.com.
He is now a regular on the College Football Live show and has a blog on ESPN.com.
Schad will begin his fifth season covering college football for the Worldwide Leader this fall. But even as one of the up and coming reporters in the business, Schad is not immune to the ever-changing industry.
The reporter said he remembers a time when older reporters were asking him why he bothered to follow the newest communication device that was impacting the sports world—message boards.
And he sees a parallel today that he is trying to learn in fear of falling behind the times himself—Twitter.
Schad has a Twitter account and a Facebook account for a number of reasons.
For one both are ways to establish direct contact with coaches or athletes, who might be able to help him do his job. Schad recalled multiple occasions in which he has received a scoop on a developing story directly from a player via a Facebook message.
And now coaches and players are announcing news on Twitter, and that’s if an announcement does not turn into news when it hits Twitter a la Shaquille O’Neal announcing his support of former teammate Kobe Bryant in the Finals.
That is why Schad uses every venue possible to do his job. “I’m not ashamed to say you don’t have to be a genius to break a news story,” he said. “You just have to build relationships.”
Schad uses texts in addition to the social Web sites to do this. He said all of these methods have made his difficult job of developing nationwide contacts a bit easier.
The reporter said it is imperative to learn as many communication methods as possible because you never know if they might come in handy in the future.
And that is why, even though he cannot predict how the industry will change next, if it does, he is sure to change with it.