BJ Koubaroulis: 3 things

Washington Post prep sports writer and cross-platform journalist BJ Koubaroulis was our guest in class Feb. 19.

GRADED EXERCISE: In the comments section below, add the three things you learned from BJ’s presentation. Deadline is 30 minutes before class on Tuesday Feb. 24. No exceptions!



67 Responses to “BJ Koubaroulis: 3 things”

  1.   bmurphy6 Says:

    Brendan Murphy
    Communication 371-001
    Sports Reporting/Klein
    February 19, 2009

    3 Things I learned from BJ Koubaroulis

    1. When you cover high school sports be aware of the lack of resources. Call the coach ahead of time! Do your own research and ask the coach about potential stories.

    2. Learn how to be edited. Your editor at times may tear your story apart or change it and you have to be able to handle it.

    3. Best piece of advice: Learn how to be a video editor.

  2.   Christopher Brooks Says:

    Three things I learned from B.J. Koubaroulis:

    1. Call ahead. It is going to give you everything you need to know. It might give you a story you could have missed otherwise (ex. Family member passed away – player had a great game that Friday).

    2. There is no money in media. There is less money in the budget, they can’t hire multiple people. So they hire one guy to do it all and get paid for one position.

    3. After you finish the first part of a quote, you need to say who is saying it before you go on to the second sentence.

    Great guest!

  3.   Andrew Says:

    3 Things from BJ:

    1) Always call ahead to talk to the HS coach to get any tips or pieces of information you might not get elsewhere.

    2) Be kind to everyone. That field hockey coach that you don’t particularly want to talk to might be the one with all the connections.

    3) Use the first paragraph to make sure you lock the reader in. You can pack a lot of information in to just that first paragraph.

  4.   Evan Says:

    1. Knowing FinalCut and how to edit and make video can be an incredibly handy thing to have on your resume for this field.

    2. Creating something as “simple” as a video on one online article can involve more than a dozen people and can be unorganized and chaotic. It’s an industry that demands a patient mind.

    3. Even the most obscure coach or assistant from Nowhere, VA could be your best friend or your saving grace one day.

  5.   Mike Foss Says:

    Three things I learned from BJ Koubaroulis:

    1. When dealing with high school sports, call the coach ahead of time. Gain as much information from him about his team as possible.

    2. Know your editors. Know what they like in a story and what they dislike. You’re writing for them as much as you’re writing for your audience.

    3. You only have 20 minutes to file a story after the game so try to get down your pre-game stats and any pre-canned information you’re using for your story before the game is over.

  6.   Sara Ronken Says:

    I wasn’t in class on Thursday, so I read other students’ reactions to the presentation and I learned the following:

    1. Get to know your editor and what he or she likes. Also, get used to being criticized, because your editor may not like your story and decide to change it.

    2. When covering high school sports, it is a good idea to call ahead to the coach, because you may find out something you would not have otherwise learned.

    3. It would be beneficial to learn how to edit videos, and would look great on a resume.

  7.   Grant Paulsen Says:

    BJ Koubaroulis: 3 Things

    1. Know how to edit video.

    2. Make sure readers know who you are quoting. Put the player’s name in the first sentence of the quote.

    3. Be versatile. People aren’t paying enough to have a plethora of people working different jobs. You’ve got to be able to do a little bit of everything.

  8.   Colby Prout Says:

    Colby Prout
    Comm 371
    cprout@gmu.edu
    February, 23 2009

    1. The coach is always the best source to get answers or ideas for a prep sports, story.

    2. One is hard-pressed to simply be a writer nowadays. You should know many different media skills.

    3. Disconnect from your writing.

  9.   joe Says:

    Three things I learned from B.J Koubaroulis:

    1)In modern-day journalism, a person not only has to be a good writer but they must be able to use web-video, podcasts, html, and blogs.

    Newspapers want to hire one person to do all these things due to shrinking budgets.

    2)High school is enjoyable to cover because the players are more willing to answer questions. They are excited to get any kind of media attention.

    3)Master the basics of writing an A.M/P.M story first and then you can get creative with your writing.

  10.   Fox Parker Says:

    3 Things I learned from BJ Koubaroulis:

    1)When developing relationships with high school coaches, athletes and families you should be fair, honest and, most importantly, available

    2)When writing a story for deadline get the basics done in the story THEN go back and make it “cute and readable”

    3)Turning sentences that just have the bare-necessities into sentences with passion and depth takes time…and that’s maddeningly frustrating.

  11.   Colin Fitzgerald Says:

    Comm 371-001
    Sports Reporting/Klein
    February 24, 2009

    3 Things I learned from BJ Koubaroulis

    1. Call ahead! Coaches don’t always know their own teams stats. Research the teams and players you are covering.
    2. Learning how to be edited is part of the process.
    3. High school sports coverage generates a lot of interest from parents/students/faculty.

  12.   Ben Libby Says:

    Ben Libby
    Comm 371-001
    BJ Koubaroulis
    Feb 24, 2009

    Although I was unable to attend Thursday’s class with BJ Koubaroulis, by reading my classmates notes I was able to learn 3 things:

    1. When writing a story, get the basics down before the deadline, with time to add “fluff” done afterwards.

    2. Call the high school coach ahead of time.

    3. The first paragraph is essential in that it needs to bring the reader in. Packing information into this paragraph is a way to do this.

  13.   Eric Vitoff Says:

    Woah! Close one. Here we go, three things leaned from BJ Kourbaroulis:

    1. Learn to adapt to your editor; know what he or she wants/likes.

    2. Be multi-talented – media employers want to hire one person to do multiple jobs these days.

    3. High school coaches often don’t even get their own records right – do your research.

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