Student reporter’s use of Twitter during sporting event yields better stats, more depth

Westside Twitter

We just finished post-mortem on our latest show and we were watching our sports story which was the ever-popular “road to state” coverage of our girls basketball team.  In the interest of time, we decided to put both the district finals and the state game together for the show.  When we watched the story in class, the staff all agreed that the writing was a lot more solid for the state story than for districts.

Our reporter one-man-banded it for both stories.

Before the state tournament, though, we decided that tweeting updates and scores would be a pretty effective…and fun…extension of our coverage.  So, in addition to our reporter shooting the game, he also tweeted during breaks in the action (time outs, free throws, etc.).  The end result?  The state coverage included more specific stats and better in-depth coverage.  The correlation is something that good reporters have always known:  when you write down your observations – be it online, on paper, etc. – your writing greatly improves.

Looking back on it, his tweets looked like something right out of a reporter’s notebook:  quick observations and basic stats while he was at the event. The best part was when he was putting together his story, he referred to our Twitter page for notes.  Very, very cool.

Westside Sports Twitter Feed:

Warrior Television Link:

Just thought I’d pass along one TV adviser’s observations…..

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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