As I’ve probably made frustratingly clear in my time writing for The Roar, my lack of knowledge and interest in the world of athletics is my worst trait as an aspiring journalist. I recognize that sports are incredibly important to many, especially in the United States. Because it’s important to readers, it must be valued, to a certain extent, by writers. This is something that I definitely struggle with.
Reading the stories from this week’s prompt gave me a bit of hope in this subject. Many of the stories showed that sports-focused journalism can go so far beyond a play-by-play report of a basketball match. Instead of focusing on the performance of athletes or teams, these stories focused on the human elements: the struggles of certain players, what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking and how they’re changing in life.
The story that I think did this the best was the feature on James Washington written by Nathan Ruiz. I was immediately gripped by the lead and stayed enthralled until the incredibly satisfying ending. It read much more like a novel than what I would predict from a “sports story,” which was as impressive as it was surprising to me.
I didn’t feel like the details were over-dramatized in the stories that we read this week. I’ve seen examples of this in the past, but these stories all seemed to stay honest.
Without a doubt, some sports-knowledge helps when piecing together a sports story. That being said, these examples all proved that a “human story” can be just as good (much better, in my eyes) than a “sports story.”