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Journalism (newspapers/magazines)/Covering High School Sports


Hi Mr. D`Angelo,

My name is Ash and this week I just became a stringer at my local paper. I am covering high school sports, and my first assignment is a track meet next week.

Since this is my first event, I wanted to know what the general protocol is for press/reporters at these events.

Is it common practice for reporters to contact coaches ahead of time if they have questions?

Does the media have a special seating section for the game?

Is there anything else a rookie reporter should know?

Thanks so much.

- Ash

Hi Ash,

You certainly can contact the coach if you wish. Just be sure to identify yourself and let the coach know who you are stringing for. Honestly, it's been a long time since I covered a track meet, but when I did, I had free reign to walk wherever I wanted, as long as I didn't get in the way or put myself or anyone else in harm's way.

It wouldn't hurt to introduce yourself to the coach, and also check in with the people who are keeping score, since you will eventually need to get the results from them.

What else to know? Dress professionally, be polite and ask the coaches if there are any angles that might be worth following. For example, a sprinter may be one race short of setting a conference record for wins in a season or career. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

In that vein, be prepared by knowing something about the team. Ask the sports editor what to look for, and read back issues to get a feel for the personnel. If it's an early season meet, read the previews your paper published.

Hope this helps.


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Robert D`Angelo


I am a copy editor who has more than 20 years experience in editing newspaper and magazine articles. Much of my career has been spent editing sports copy, but I also am capable of editing non-sports and technical copy.I am an avid sports trivia fan, and a collector of baseball cards. Another hobby I enjoy is genealogy. I believe I have some experience in all three of those areas.


I have been a sports reporter and/or copy editor since 1979. Worked as both in Stuart, Fla., from 1980 to 1988, serving as assistant sports editor from 1984 to 1988. Have been a sports copy editor at The Tampa Tribune since 1988. I also have edited magazines in the areas of golf, auto racing, soccer, and information technology.

Received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 1979.

Was a 12-time winner from 1982 through 1988 in Florida Sports Writers Association writing and design contests. I served as president of the Florida Sports Writers Association in 1989-90, and served as first vice president (1988-89) and second vice president (1987-88).

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