Friday, February 19, 2010

This weeks Journalism post

Most people watch the Olympics for the action. Or to cheer on your country. Or even because you are compelled to for a class. All of the is important but I watch the Olympics for one person: Jimmy Roberts.

Roberts reports the most of the prime time features during NBC's coverage. He's sat in that chair for several Olympics.

If ever there was a dream job for me, that would be it.

Even though he sits next to Bob Costas as cool as the ice in Vancouver, you know there is a lot of work that went into pulling that package together.

Earlier in the games, Canada was hoping for its first Winter Olympics gold medal on home soil. The country's first opportunity came in the women's freestyle moguls.

Canadian Jennifer Heil was poised to make it happen. She had turned in an impressive 25.69 seconds run. She stood poised to raise the mapleleaf for her country. American Hanna Kearny changed that. In the last run of competition, Kearny bested Heil's time by almost a second.

Hours after the race, Roberts was sitting next to Costas with a feature story on that race. This piece--like most--stood out to me not because of the great writing but because you could see the amount of work that went into the piece even before the start beep sounded. It was if most of the piece was done even before the sun came broke over the mountains of Whistler.

This is one thing I can definitey take from Roberts in terms of long-form features for sports events. HE had the background video shot and probably most of the piece already edited before the final. In the Bahamas, we have several major sports events that the national TV station covers including the national boys basketball tournament, softball championships and track events. With some foresight and planning I could put together a piece of that caliber.

Going back to the writing, Roberts is either a master with words or has one of the best writers around.

He expertly weaves "threes" through his piece. "So Canada waits for the next time, the next chance, the next opportunity for gold," Roberts said in the piece.

This is something I try to get into every piece as well. Roberts shows just how powerful using the trinity can be.

So as I watch the Olympics, I wont be watching the twists, the turns or the tumbles. I'll be watching for Jimmy Roberts.

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