Archive for the ‘Chester’ Category

It took some creative thinking and a lot of work to prove the benefits but finally I have my journey into the digital journalism future underway.

Jetstream, my video blog, is still the longest running weekly episodic video blog in Chester Chronicle history, standing as it does currently at four entries.

But they have been well received and their audience is growing. This coupled with the content we fill the website with (www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets) is generating many more web hits than the old Jets channel used to.

While it does not really enter the realm of the football club coverage, which has a lot more visitors, we are no longer relying on just one sporting entity to draw visitors to our site and, in my opinion, the Jets section is maybe setting the pace a little in terms of the diversity of content.

Competition of course is healthy but the main thing is that organising, filming and editing these Jetstream videos is making me ever more proficient in skills which I hope will ensure that I am able to sustain an entire career in journalism as digital markets grow and print products face new challenges.

And the fact I get to cover basketball, a great sport that I have always loved, is simply an added bonus.

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As my quest to build broadcasting credentials into my journalistic skills base increases so the Jetstream video blogs (which can be seen at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets) improve in quality.

Last week I was at the Echo Arena, a place sponsored by my employers for which I had a valid media pass. So I was caught off-guard when a tall gentleman (not a basketball player) with an earpiece (security) came over and asked what I was doing filming outside.

On one hand I was glad to see they take security so seriously at the Echo Arena. On the other, I am not sure what sort of security risk (as that was the reason he cited for needing to check me out) he felt a slightly paunchy man in a floral shirt standing in front of a camcorder with a clipboard posed.

I never got to the bottom of that so please, answers on a postcard.

Nevertheless I got my interview with one of the latest Cheshire Jets imports, Quemont Greer, and I have to say that despite the fact the club wants the publicity we provide, I still feel they are being incredibly welcoming in the access they provide to players and coaches.

I believe football could learn a lot from that openness, as players become comfortable with the media and rather than needing expensive training to bat back questions they will be able to provide eloquent answers without getting themselves into trouble.

In the summer I was courtside as Luol Deng starred for Team GB and now I spend Sunday evenings courtside with the Jets against the cream of the BBL Championship. I’m sure there are worse jobs in the world…

I know, for those of you who read this during what I call the Kindergarten sessions, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to.

But now I’m breaking big news. I have been working on the Chester Chronicle’s new improved Cheshire Jets coverage and thanks to some technical assistance from internet wonder kid James Shepherd I can now reveal that the first two editions of the Jetstream Cheshire Jets video blog are now online to view at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk-cheshire-jets

This is already the longest running weekly episodic video blog the Chester Chronicle has ever broadcast and that is a record I believe may never be broken. Nevertheless we plough forward and new episodes will be uploaded to the website weekly along with match reports and all the great coverage that the Chronicle is now building a reputation for.

If you like basketball, if you like Cheshire Jets, and if you need to know what’s going on, you need…

THE JETSTREAM.

If you have read earlier posts you’ll see I’ve had a lot on my plate recently. But as the light at the end of the tunnel was sunshine and not an oncoming train, it is time to fill you in on the lauch of my new project.

For some time I have been fighting basketball’s corner against the non-believers. We have a professional team in Cheshire who had a reputation for dominating the division back at the turn of the millennium.

But compared to the football team they did not get the attention such success warranted until now. I have worked hard to realise a vision of a full-page of Cheshire Jets coverage in the Chronicle.

With help from our number one techy, we have also revamped the Jets section of the website – www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets – so it looks brilliant, if I do say so myself. In the coming weeks it will be supplemented by video blogs and match reports as the season gets underway, allowing fans to get closer to the team than they already are.

I am very proud of the new-look Jets coverage but then media people are always proud of their work, it is that unique arrogance that makes us good at what we do.

Hopefully the fans, who are the most important people in all of this, are proud of it and happy with it because if they are, it will be a big success.

Tomorrow’s Chester Chronicle has a sizeable chunk devoted to basketball and personally I am very happy with this, as I have been trying for some time to fight the sport’s corner against the traditional behemoths of the back pages.

With having the Cheshire Jets, one of the British Basketball League’s most successful franchises on our doorstep, has meant that it has never been starved of publicity in our historic pages, but in recent times the trend towards football as the be-all and end-all has become a bone of contention for some, particularly since the BBL became one of the casualties of the ITV Digital collapse in 2002 leaving clubs to struggle with unmanageable costs.

Now though the balance has shifted a little. Chester’s football team have dropped a few divisions to the amateur leagues after some much-publicised problems with their owner and it has given the Chron breathing space to take another look at basketball and the Jets.

The Jets, having had their own brush with extinction in 2007, are run by fans, have the support of local business and have a very good chance of finally returning to the top of the BBL and winning some silverware this season.

In many ways they are the perfect sports team for a local paper to cover, with few backroom political wrangles and a lot of goodwill from the community that supports them and I believe other local media covering other teams should look seriously at the coverage they offer their own franchises, as they are sidelining a popular and growing sport with good professional ethics and community programmes.

Football is great, we all love it and it does drive sales, we get it. But there has to be room for something different otherwise people will get bored and stop buying newspapers.

Oh, hang on….

What an unusual week. Very quiet  for the time of year but as the Commonwealth Games preparations heat up there are plenty of things to pick and choose from, from Rob Partridge’s cycling exploits to Welsh team selections in gymnastics and swimming success.

Football never seems to go away these days and the Flintshire teams are very active at the moment with signings and friendlies. I sometimes wonder if Welsh football would do better if it became a summer league, ensuring the players are at full match fitness when the Champions League qualifiers come along and allowing them to be more competitive.

But my attention now turns to basketball. I have some big stories coming up for the Chester Chronicle regarding the Cheshire Jets that should whet the appetite for the forthcoming season and am really looking forward to getting my teeth into a much more involved coverage of the side this year.