The University of Michigan Sports Reporter

MLive Media Group, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Date PostedSeptember 13, 2017
IndustryDigital Media
Job StatusFull-time
SalaryNot Specified

The University of Michigan Sports Reporter reports on the University of Michigan football and basketball programs. Specific focuses include recruiting and the fan intrigue surrounding the biggest players and personalities within the programs.
The reporter has a deep knowledge of the programs and teams, and a knack for going beyond the X’s and O’s. This isn’t about gamers and standard features. This is about surprising people every day with a unique perspective on heavily covered beats.
Day to day, the reporter targets recruiting generally, identifying recruitment targets early on and following them throughout the process to ensure is the leader in breaking news around recruiting. Success in covering recruiting depends on having strong relationships with certain high school programs and this reporter has a knack for building and maintaining them.
The reporter also has a sharp sense of what personalities drive audience interest – like Jim Harbaugh -- and reports on them in an engaging way. This goes beyond traditional profiles, and the reporter understands that no item is too small to pass up. Understanding what plays on social media is a must and this reporter knows what angles to capture and tone to use to capture that audience.
This reporter collaborates closely with the other University of Michigan Sports Reporter to ensure stories are not missed and pitches in on the beat elsewhere as needed.
Required Education, Experience and Skills:
•Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Communications or related field required
•Minimum of 2 – 3 years of journalism experience with a proven ability in reporting and writing required
•Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience
•Demonstrated capability in capitalizing on high-value topics by engaging audiences in frequency and urgency
•Ability to work under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately
•Experience building and maintaining key contacts for a beat
•Solid understanding of news writing and journalistic ethics
•Experience with search engine optimization practices
•Experience capturing and editing photo, recording audio and video
•Demonstrated ability using social media to source and promote content
•Basic HTML or equivalent web language a plus
•Proven ability to utilize a broad set of tools to tell stories and engage the audience

Duties and Responsibilities:
1.Develop and nurture a beat around UM sports recruiting:
•Identify UM recruitment targets and build a relationship with them and their networks to ensure is competitive on breaking news around their decisions.
•Follow top recruits from around the country whether or not they are obvious UM targets and provide fans with career highlights and other relevant coverage, aggregating as necessary to round out coverage.
•Report on UM recruiting activity and recruit visits, bringing fans the latest on official visits and all levels of commitments.
2.Report on the buzz surrounding Jim Harbaugh and other notable personalities and players:
•Mine storylines for breakouts on Harbaugh’s moves, going beyond game coverage to highlight notable quotes, social media activity and other highly shareable items ­.­
•Create multimedia content (slideshows, videos, gifs) that suit the subject and give fans an alternative way to experience the content.
•Quickly aggregate relevant coverage from other news outlets.
•Monitor and engage in reader comments and social media to source ideas, and elevate comments and social media chatter into new posts when appropriate.
3.Collaborate with UM beat writer as needed
•Communicate effectively on coverage to establish and understanding of swim lanes and reach out proactively to coverage is not missed.
•Provide backup coverage for games when situations dictate it, either attending games or working remotely.
4.Maximize audience to content through optimization, promotion and tracking analytics
•Closely watch analytics to gauge audience reaction and adjust accordingly.
•Advocate for promotion of content on the website and social media and promote it via personal channels.
5.Tweak content to capture the most traffic based on audience trends; smartly link, embed videos and photo galleries and craft headlines that will intrigue readers.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

General Office Environment.  Significant travel required throughout Lower Michigan.

MLive Media Group is an audience-first, digitally focused media company encompassing all content, sales and marketing operations for:, The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle, Kalamazoo Gazette, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Ann Arbor News, The Flint Journal, The Saginaw News, The Bay City Times and the Advance Weeklies in Grand Rapids, as well as several related entities. In addition to being Michigan's #1 news and information provider, MLive Media Group is Michigan's largest local media advertising network, allowing advertisers to reach local audiences in communities across the state.
MLive Media Group is a part of Advance Local, one of the largest media groups in the U.S. reaching more than 40 million consumers through its 12 local news and information websites and more than 30 newspapers.
MLive Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental impairment, sexual orientation or any other category protected under federal, state or local law.

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