Archive for the ‘Sport’ 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.

Ballin…….

Posted: August 25, 2010 in General, Sport

Having got a particularly challenging Flintshire edition boxed off this week I can turn my attention to a little bit of excitement, the GB Eurobasket Qualifiers at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Two local young players are part of the GB set-up and it is a big deal, when you consider how many players make up a squad.

But more exciting than that its the fact that the event offers me the rare pleasure of being able to leave the office for a job. The Echo Arena is a great venue and this will be the first time I have worked there, but to be honest I’m just glad of the fresh air.

Once an old mentor of mine, Mike Green (not the one currently working for the Chester Chronicle, if you know your local weeklies) regaled me with romantic tales of overnight jobs and travelling to London to cover marches and strikes by steelworkers.  

Now I would be as happy being sent to a job in a crack den or a sewage works, such is the opportunity for me to get out of the office.

Bristol City manager Steve Coppell has quit after 122 days and one league match. Paul Robinson and Wes Brown decided to quit International football after they were recalled to the England side, Simon Davies did the same to Wales. Paul Scholes set the tone in the summer and now Fabio Capello has quit on David Beckham.

Once football was the last bastion of the try-hard spirit. The FA Cup saw sides refuse to accept defeat against superior opposition and embark on giant-killing runs of legend.

This never-say-die attitude was not always shared by the general public, true, but it was refreshing to see that it survived in football.

But now that last bastion has fallen, as quitting has become the new cool. Scholes turned his back on England because the assistant manager called to ask him to come to the World Cup. Call me daft but I would have gone if Ray Clemence’s dog had asked me.

I subscribe to the sporting mantra that you do not give up on your country, your country gives up on you. National teams unite warring fans under one banner and selection is the pinnacle of sporting achievement, regardless of the endorsement deals and contracts.

The fate of every international was and should still be that  one day the final call comes. That’s it. Your country has moved on. But you still remain available in case one day, your services are once more required. That is the honour of representing your country, that when needed you will be called upon. It’s like a vocation.

But the one player who understood this, David Beckham, fell victim to the cruellest fate of all when Capello told the world via a TV interview that his international career was over.

There was apparently no communication, no courteous phonecall telling Goldenballs that he was no longer in Don Fabio’s plans. But Beckham still refuses to retire despite the public embarrassment of finding out with the rest of the world.

This is because he has class. He understands that the most important thing about being a sportsman is representing your country. Sadly there is now a generation of sports stars and sports fans who will see their idols quitting and looking after number one.

If that is the example we set, how can we expect to have the togetherness of a Spain, Germany or Argentina, teams which eclipsed us in the World Cup.

The answer: We can’t.

In 48 hours the football season returns for me and the motley band of supporters who flock to watch football in the Championship.

My poison is League One’s Tranmere Rovers and despite the perpetual cycle of optimism, denial and ultimate disappointment this season I find myself with an unusual dilemma.

The question is this – Should I attempt to brainwash my niece or nephew, who is expected in the next week or so, into the bosom of the Prenton Park faithful.

There are a number of considerations. Firstly, is it fair to condemn a young child to a life of pain and dismay punctuated by tiny pockets of unbridled joy and the constant sound of elderly people, as we all will be by then, moaning about the fact it was much better in the early 90s when we won a playoff final, the Leyland DAF Trophy and got to the brink of the Premier League.

Also, said tiny person will be living with its parents, as they often do, in Birmingham. Dad is an Aston Villa fan and a good egg all round, even taking into account Mark Bosnich’s heinous cheating which knocked us out of the League Cup in 1994 (all Villa fans are to blame for this, obviously). But He appreciates the value of supporting a smaller team making an approach feasible.

So while it may be a long trip for each home game and despite the fact it will make them an outcast at their school 100 miles away, I think I will dust off the old hypnotists pocket watch and give it a go. Besides, if I have to suffer…