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Bleacher Report and CBS Sports Bring Citizen Journalism Into the Mainstream

People have been predicting it for a while, but finally the blogosphere looks set to merge with traditional media…

B/R and CBS: An interesting new opportunity for online journalism

B/R and CBS: An interesting new opportunity for online journalism

Two of America’s biggest providers of online sports journalism have joined forces to create a new opportunity that promises to catapult ‘fan-journalism’ into the spotlight.

Bleacher Report, the self-styled ‘open-source sports network’ has announced a partnership with CBSSports.com that will run concurrently with the 2009 NFL season. 32 writers from Bleacher Report’s vast catalogue of amateur sportswriters will be chosen for the opportunity, one for each of the NFL’s franchises.

“This blending of traditional journalism with sports citizen reporting is totally unprecedented—especially on this scale,” said Zander Freund, co-founder and Community General Manager for Bleacher Report. “The combination of CBSSports.com’s impeccable editorial standards and deep ties to the NFL with Bleacher Report’s rich and prolific network of writing talent will result in unparalleled live coverage of NFL teams on a local level.”

Successful candidates will be paid a $400/month stipend, and also provided with a Blackberry for assignments. However, they will be expected to commit to the project full-time for the duration of the 2009 NFL season (and the Playoffs), attending each and every one of their team’s practices, press conferences and home games.

Unsurprisingly, the opportunity is much sought after by fans who would not normally dream of such a chance.

However, the skills required for the position are not so different from those of the traditional media. For a start, a journalism degree and relevant experience is described as ‘preferred’. While a love of the team writers hope to cover is expected, journalistic abilities are equally important.

“Impeccable attention to detail; accuracy is the most important quality we seek,” reads CBS Sports’ description. ”Excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills, and writing on deadline is a must.”

To prove their credentials, applicants must fill out a form, and them prove their knowledge of the team they wish to cover by writing a series of articles covering the team’s personnel and playbook.

While there are hoops to jump through, the reward looks to be very high. But for online journalism as a whole, the end result of the ‘experiment’ should also be observed with great interest.

 

Further details and an application can be filled out here.

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May 8, 2009 - Posted by | News, Sport | , ,

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