Student journalists discuss the future of sports media
- A 12-person college journalist panel discuss the 2016 Presidential election, the future of journalism and their place in the business.
For my Monday morning column this week I empaneled 12 college students from around the country who are currently working as sports editors for a college publication. The panel agreed to answer a series of questions including whether athletic officials and athletes are forthcoming with them; how they consume and watch sports news; whether they have been threatened with credential pulling, and much more. The first part ran on Sunday and can be found here. The piece below is Part 2.
• Danielle Allentuck, sophomore, Ithaca College. She is the sports editor of The Ithacan and is studying journalism and sports studies.
• Malika Andrews, senior, University of Portland. Andrews is the editor-in-chief of The Beacon and a former sports editor of that publication. (Column note: Andrews is not currently a sports editor but has extensive sports editing experience on her campus, so we wanted her in.) She is an organizational communication major.
• Betelhem Ashame, junior, University at Michigan. She is a sports editor for The Michigan Daily and a double major in screen arts and cultures and communication studies.
• Courtney Baumann, junior, University of Iowa. She is the assistant sports editor for The Daily Iowan and double major in journalism and mass communication and international relations.
• Callie Caplan, senior, University of Maryland. She is an assistant sports editor for Diamondback Sports and a multiplatform major.
• Charlotte Carroll, senior University of Illinois. She is the sports editor of The Daily Illini and majoring in journalism, with minors in French and public relations.
• Olivia Hummer, senior, Stanford University. She is a managing editor of sports for the Stanford Daily and majoring in history.
• Kenny Jacoby, senior, University of Oregon. He is the senior sports editor of The Daily Emerald and studying mathematics and computer science.
• Emily Polglaze, senior, University of Minnesota. She is the sports editor of the Minnesota Daily and majoring in professional journalism, with a minor in fashion studies.
• Daniel Radov, senior, Columbia University. He is the sports editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator and majoring in European history.
• Jelani Scott, senior, Hampton University. He is the sports editor of The Hampton Script and a journalism major with an area of emphasis in marketing.
• Kendall Valenzuela, junior, Arizona State. She is the sports editor of The State Press and studying sports journalism.
The only requirement the panel was given was to keep the answers tight. They were free to skip any questions.
How has the recent Presidential election, if at all, impacted what you think of the future of journalism?
Allentuck: I think public distrust of the media is at an alltime low, and it worries me as a journalism student. I think people seek out news outlets that only report information that they agree with instead of looking for an unbiased outlet. I m also worried that journalists’ access will be restricted and they will not be able to act as a check on the government if this happens.
Andrews: The biggest short-term takeaway was that the election led to a lot of interest and conversation regarding politics on campus. Our editorials provoked lots of passionate responses. That was exciting because it’s always a major goal of ours to connect with our fellow students. Like every writer, I hope that maintaining freedom of the press remains a high priority for our country and the next Presidential administration. To be honest, I decided to pursue a career in journalism years before the election and that hasn’t changed at all. My primary interest is in covering sports and I’m still assessing exactly how the election result will impact the leagues I want to cover.
Ashame: If the American public didn’t already know, this Presidential election has demonstrated how corporate influence often comes before journalistic integrity in the media—and how the country incurs the cost. This may just be my own optimism, but I think journalists will respond to all of the anger and distrust directed toward the press right now by putting the American people first and prioritizing truth and accountability in their reporting.
Baumann: I’m not going to lie, it does worry me a bit. I feel like sports journalism isn’t as affected, but it honestly makes me want to branch out and try new things, too. I’ve never really been one for politics or writing about it, but given the opportunity I’d definitely take it. As journalists we’re supposed to strive for the truth, and that’s what is going to be most important in the upcoming years.
Caplan: Having powerful officials take stances against the field and its values and missions is concerning, but that just means the pushback from journalists to serve the public and provide the necessary information should be just as strong. Even if the election results were different, I don’t know what the exact future of journalism looks like. If I did, maybe I would have a job offer after graduation. But the digital push and emphasis on immediacy is something that won’t likely change. We’re very focused on digital growth and initiatives at The Diamondback, and just as professional newsrooms lead that evolution, the platform and engagement for journalism might change, but the responsibility won’t.
Carroll: The Presidential election has only made me consider good journalism more important than ever to the future of this country. The election showcased journalism’s shortfalls so going forward, more needs to be done to really ensure all voices are heard. As press freedoms become threatened, journalists are needed more than ever to ensure democracy can function.
Hummer: If anything, I think the recent election highlighted that rather than forcing “objectivity” to be the standard for coverage, perhaps the correct bar is “truth.” That is to say, much of the political coverage of the election treated the candidates equally, even in situations in which that should not have been the case. With the rise of “fake news,” proper journalistic institutions should be focused on disseminating the truth rather than assessing all claims as if they have inherent merit.
Jacoby: It’s more important than ever now to hold those in power accountable. I worry that the new administration will institute policies that limit access to reporters, but I’m confident reporters will continue press forward and do meaningful work.
Polglaze: We’re at a very interesting point in our profession. Truth seems to hold much different meaning than it did in the past. With fake news and storylines so outrageous they sound fictional at the forefront, it puts us all in an interesting position. However, I see it as a time of great opportunity. Young journalists have the chance to make honesty our utmost priority again, and if we do that, our work will stand out. We will have done our jobs if we seek truth and report it.
Radov: I’d be better disposed to answer this question once the President-elect is sworn in and begins to enact policy changes. But my hope is that the President-elect’s desire for censorship—and generally condescending attitude towards the media—can be a huge rallying cry for the industry as a whole.
Scott: Although watching the media circus that was the 2016 Presidential election may have made me feel disappointed in the industry as a whole, I don’t feel that my desire to be a multimedia sports journalist has changed at all. If anything, it has motivated me more to breakthrough in this industry and become better at my craft. The reason being is that it is evident that our country has taken a step back when it comes to determining what we value and our new President-elect represents ideals and practices that many thought we had collectively moved on from. I feel that this election showed me that attention can often be placed on the wrong thing and all publicity isn’t good publicity. As a young African-American man who has always been told that I have to work twice as hard for equality, I will take what I observed during this election season and make sure that I don’t lose sight of my goals in a world that constantly tries to shield my eyes to the truth.
Valenzuela: As a sports editor, the recent election has made me more determined to instill great ethics and reporting techniques into my sports desk. I want each individual sports reporter to know the proper ethics and be held to the highest of standards to ensure great pieces are written.
How do you get your news? Be as specific as you can.
Allentuck: I get my news primarily from Twitter. Most of the people I follow on Twitter are journalists and when they tweet an article I’m interested in, I’ll click it and read it. I also have a couple news apps on my phones that send alerts.
Andrews: I am a little bit of a news junkie. I subscribe to a few digital newsletters like The New York Times and The Skimm and pick up the print paper of the Times on campus. I am constantly scrolling through Twitter and follow several individual journalists as well as publications. I am an avid listener of NPR’s Morning Edition and I listen to the podcast version of ESPN’s His and Hers and SI’s Open Floor [NBA podcast]. I also regularly share stories with my friends, family and fellow student journalists via text message and email.
Ashame: I either go on Twitter to find news articles from various publications, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, and CNN, or I go straight to their websites to browse for stories.
Baumann: I get a lot of my news through social media, specifically Twitter. Since I’m not home a whole lot it’s kind of hard to find time and sit down and watch ESPN as much as I used to. I also like having news alerts from the ESPN app sent to me.
Caplan: The majority of my news consumption comes on my phone. I follow most of the major outlets and metro newspapers/sports sections/writers on Twitter. My parents still subscribe to hard copies of a few newspapers in our area, and I’ll sometimes read them when I’m home. But for the most part, I’ve seen a lot of those stories via social media or the website beforehand.
Carroll: I’m a news junkie so I’m always checking sites such as The New York Times, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune at least twice a day. I follow of variety of different sites on Twitter and Facebook, so I’ll read articles when I’m browsing through social media and often on Buzzfeed as well. Our college offers newspapers, so if I’m heading to class, I’ll pick up one up. I also have a subscription to the New Yorker.
Hummer: I get most of my news through Twitter, particularly when it comes to sports. I follow most of the major news sources and am able to access their articles and videos on my timeline.
Jacoby: More and more I’ve had my news pushed to me. I get notifications on my phone and computer from The New York Times, Washington Post and a few other news outlets, and subscribe to several email newsletters. I see the headlines then go to the website to read the full story. I mostly follow journalists and news outlets on Twitter, so I scroll through my Twitter feed to get the most current news.
Polglaze: I really can’t say enough how integral Twitter is in my everyday life. It’s my first source for almost anything. I’m likely to catch a developing story on Twitter before I catch it anywhere else. Our Twin Cities large outlets like the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press have a great pulse on local and national news, so I rely on those a bit, otherwise the USA Today or Chicago Tribune are my go-to’s.
Radov: Overwhelmingly, from Twitter. It’s the best place for all of my news at once, though I find the sports-specific subreddits are quite good, too. I’d add that the team-specific subreddits allow you to hone in on your favorite team in an almost unparalleled way. Since I’m a big Arsenal fan, /r/gunners [a subreddit] is my one-stop shop for everything I need to know on a daily basis.
Scott: Like most people of my generation, I get my news through various social media websites. Twitter and Facebook are often my go-to mediums for news consumption and the stories I see on these sites often lead me to doing my own research. I rarely watch the news on TV because they tend to go with the “if it bleeds, it leads” formula but I will watch CNN or NBC for major events such as the Presidential election and natural disaster or terrorism coverage.
Valenzuela: I am subscribed to the Seattle Times and get the daily paper sent to my email. I also rely heavily on Twitter and get breaking news alerts sent to my phone.
Do you think your work is respected by other students? If yes, why? If no, why?
Allentuck: I think students respect our work and seek it to stay informed. We are the only news outlet that primarily covers the college, so if students want to stay informed on school-related issues, they read our coverage. However, I know some students think of us as joke and say we always report information wrong. My response to these students is always to ask them what is wrong so I can make sure to fix it next time, and they usually can’t find anything.
Andrews: Yes, I believe other students respect my work. I receive a lot of feedback from readers in the comments, on social media and in person on campus. I work hard to be fair and accurate, and I think I have built a strong professional reputation. After a few of my longer profiles, I’ve heard from athletes and their family members to say a quick “thanks.”
Ashame: Whenever I tell people that I write about Michigan athletics for the Daily, they always seem really impressed and enthusiastic. The student body shows so much passion and pride about sports, so I think they enjoy reading our stories to learn more about all of the teams, albeit they are probably a little jealous about the access we have.
Baumann: I like to think so. All of my friends are incredibly supportive and share a lot of my work on social media, which is really cool. Whenever someone asks about the job, they usually find it pretty interesting as well, especially the part where I get to travel to cover games and meets.
Caplan: When I first became involved with sports journalism at school about three years ago, I was intimidated to work for the same opportunities as all of the male students and felt like I had more to prove in how much I knew, talked about and wrote about sports. But as I’ve gained experience, I’ve used that pressure to push myself in a positive way, and I think that edge has helped me improve my writing voice, and approach in ways my peers accept and respect.
Carroll: It depends. Even though teams have been very bad recently, people love their sports. Our basketball and football content is consistently some of the most read across our website. But the reality is most students I’ve interviewed aren’t really in the know or up to date with current events or our work. My friends and other journalism students care, but we’ve had plenty of people tell us we’re a waste of student’s media fee. My favorite was when the sports desk received a completely irrelevant letter comparing the hotness of Cubs, Cardinals and White Sox female fans.
Hummer: Overall, yes. In particular, I think our work is looked upon favorably by our student-athlete population. Due to our attempt to cover every sport, at times The Stanford Daily is the primary coverage for some of the less publicized sports. As a result, we build up a stronger relationship with those coaches and athletes.
Jacoby: It’s difficult to say whether other students respect our work because we don’t get much feedback from them. I think we are well-- respected within the journalism school. I’ve heard some good things from students in other disciplines, but I get the sense other students discredit our work simply because we are a student-run publication.
Polglaze: Even though we’re the third largest paper in Minnesota, students likely don’t turn to the Daily as their main news source, and I’m not sure when we’ll be at that level. However, our staff is all students, mostly writing to students. The things our readers care about and want to read are things that we want to read as well. This definitely makes us invaluable, which is something journalists should have to be successful today. If that doesn’t work, I’d hope that winning an ACP Pacemaker every year since 2013 and our storied alumni (Garrison Keillor, Keith Ellison, Roy Wilkins) would garner us some brownie points.
Radov: I think it’s respected, but I don’t think it’s hugely popular on campus. It’s not exactly a secret that Columbia doesn’t have tremendous school spirit, and since the founding of the Ivy League, its teams have won far, far fewer championships than any other member of the conference. So even generating interest after the football team’s first Homecoming victory in basically forever was a big achievement for my staff.
Scott: I would say both yes and no. I have had students tell me that they liked the story I had written for that week’s paper but then I’ll see students walk past the newspapers we place around campus on our Thursday release day or not share our digital stories when I post them on Twitter or Facebook. There have been times where I will post links to stories in various GroupMe [a group text-messaging app] groups I am involved in and the message will go unnoticed. Despite these moments, I still feel that we as student-journalists have a responsibility to educate the student body and interpret news to them in a way they can relate to. Some of the most anticipated and well attended events on campus are sporting events and writing these stories gives my team a way to be both all-inclusive and relatable in our storytelling. I have the most writers on my staff this year compared to last and I feel that is a direct reflection of how the newspaper is received on-campus.
Valenzuela: I believe my work is respected by other students. I look to see who has shared and liked my pieces on Twitter and Facebook and get great feedback that way. I feel lucky to attend Cronkite [Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication] because even though it is competitive, so many students and teachers are willing to help me excel. Every student has a mutual respect for the work others do.
What story do you hope to write before you graduate?
Allentuck: I can’t think of a specific story I want to write before I graduate, but I definitely want to do more investigative work and look into a couple things.
Andrews: There is an African immigrant with an amazing story on campus. I would love to write his story.
Ashame: One of my most ambitious ideas would likely require multiple stories as opposed to one, but since Michigan boasts a large collection of legendary coaches who have been at the helm of their respective programs for a decade or more, I think it would be interesting to chronicle their journeys. I could focus on each team individually or touch on the relationships between these coaches who have been working together under the same department for so long. They have built such a strong tradition of excellence in Michigan athletics, so it would be cool to tell the story of how they did it.
Baumann: I’d really love to do a long piece on Kirk Ferentz. He’s been the football team’s head coach for almost 20 years now, and it’s something I know people would be interested in.
Caplan: I want to write an athletic department-wide enterprise story, but I’m not quite sure what it’ll focus on yet. One of the best parts about student journalism is the freedom to choose topics and timelines, so I’ll spend winter break sending records requests and digging into ideas for my last semester.
Carroll: Over the summer, I worked at Field & Stream and gained an interest in how guns are seen by different people. I’ve never used a gun and I’m from a city that’s riddled with gun violence, so my perception was very different. Talking with people who used guns on a daily basis, albeit a different use, was fascinating for me. Though it’s not completely related to sports, I’d like to write a longer piece about this. To me, it’s such an important topic, and one that is extremely relevant.
Hummer: I would love to write an in-depth feature on an athlete off a long deadline so that I have the time to do all of the interviews and follow-ups that I’d like. Because we publish daily, it’s often very difficult to work on long term content, since the priority will always be the paper that is being published the next day.
Jacoby: There are many stories I still want to write while I’m at Oregon, but I don’t want to get scooped for talking about them here. One of my favorite professors recently reminded me that Eugene is a relatively small town, and most reporters here simply aren’t looking into these stories that require a lot of digging. I’m looking into them.
Polglaze: A lot of people don’t know that what may be Minnesota’s winningest athletic program of all time is normally on the sidelines. The Gophers dance team has won 16 total national championships and have won the pom division for seven seasons straight. They’re incredibly talented and athletic and their work often goes unnoticed. Some of their alumnae have gone on to have great success in the professional dance world. I know some may argue that dance is not a sport, but these girls are the definition of athletes. I really want the chance to tell their story and see even just a day of their training before I leave campus.
Radov: I’d love to write a piece examining why Columbia Athletics has a far less decorated history than its Ivy rivals. After all, this is an institution that’s won just one conference championship in men’s basketball and one conference championship in football since the founding of the Ivy League. It’s beginning to change, and the current administration is a big part of that. But even when I bring up this topic with alumni, they describe some of the same challenges that many Columbia teams face today.
Scott: I am the type of person who enjoys seeing things comes full circle because the human experience is such as interesting story to tell on any level. The Hampton University women’s basketball team has a stellar 6-foot guard named Malia Tate-Defreitas. She recently set the all-time Division I scoring record at HU and as her career comes to a close, it will be very interesting to see where she goes next. I would like to conduct a sit-down interview with Tate-Defreitas and talk about her journey and her plans after graduation, much like we did freshman year before her Hampton story began. We were both unsure freshman tadpoles just trying to make a splash in the big college pond and, in a way, we both were able to break out of that and showcase greatness in our own ways. In addition to the longform piece, I would also like to create a news package to show her growth and how, as someone who has had the pleasure of covering her these last four years, I’m appreciative of her humility and drive. She was one of the first people I had a chance to interview at Hampton and it would be a fitting way to conclude my HU sportswriting career.
Valenzuela: Before I graduate I will write a story that makes a difference. I think the most talked about stories are the ones that evoke emotions, good or bad, and demand change. I will write something that people talk about and reference for years after I’ve graduated from Arizona State.
Do you plan to stay in journalism? If yes, why? If no, why?
Allentuck: I plan on staying in journalism. It’s always been my dream to be a journalist, and even though I know the field is changing, I plan on doing whatever it takes to keep up and be successful.
Andrews: Absolutely. I believe there are far too few women—especially women of color—in journalism. I am often the only woman of color in a pressroom. My background as an African-American woman gives me a unique perspective that the business needs. I take pride in pursuing stories that others might overlook, particularly in minority communities. I grew up idolizing Robin Roberts and I have felt drawn to sports journalism because it’s a fit with my interests and personality. I always feel most comfortable when I’m working on stories and when I’m surrounded by writers. I’m counting down the days until graduation so I can put my sole focus on my work.
Ashame: I’ve always been really passionate about writing and sports, and, growing up in Metro Detroit, I’ve always followed Michigan athletics. When I found out about the Daily, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity. However, I originally saw it as part of my college experience rather than my career path. I definitely want to work in the media because of its powerful effect on society, but I’ve always thought about my career in terms of the television and film side of my double major. My time at the Daily has definitely made me think about a career in journalism though, so I can’t say the door is entirely closed.
Baumann: It’s been 10 years since I decided I wanted to go into sports journalism, and I still have the exact same dreams that I had in fifth grade—to be a writer for a major publication. Here I am now, covering a Big Ten football team for a daily newspaper with the opportunity to travel and do what I love. I’m just on the cusp of what I’ve always planned on doing with my life, and if anything, it’s only made me hungrier to be successful in this field.
Caplan: I definitely plan to stay in journalism. The opportunities I’ve had to cover beats and develop as a reporter and storyteller throughout my college years have been so motivating. As students, we’re fortunate to be experimenting with a digital focus—I never anticipated I would love creating SEO- and social-friendly headlines or learning to understand website analytics—and can hopefully translate that experience into professional newsrooms.
Carroll: I would like to and hopefully can make a career out of it, though I know it won’t be easy. It’s the only thing I’ve ever seriously considered doing and telling stories has been the greatest part of my job. Being a journalist gives you access to so many different people and worlds, and even from my position with sports, I’ve learned so much and have done some amazing things in my college years because of it. I can’t imagine doing something where I’m not learning new things about new people every day.
Hummer: No, I do not. In fact, I had never planned to get into journalism in the first place! I would really like to stay in sports, however. I gained some experience on the media relations/p.r. side of sports, and I think the front office is where I would like to stay.
Jacoby: Yes. It has been extremely rewarding for me to write stories that open a dialogue and make real impact in the community, and I want to continue doing so.
Polglaze: A newsroom full of cubicles is never how I pictured my life. A 16-year-old Emily would’ve thought that was a nightmare. Being in any other department, it might be. But not in sports. Athletes, coaches and staff all have so many incredible stories that have yet to be told. Getting the chance to be a part of that is truly special. I’ve interacted with Olympians like Daly Santana, Amanda Kessel and Gigi Marvin, and I’ve still barely put a dent in it. I get to watch games and retell the action to people for a living. It’s a blast and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.
Radov: Yes, regardless of whether it’s in print or television. I still relish the opportunity to hold institutions and people in positions of influence accountable, seeking to make a difference in communities like Columbia.
Scott: As I approach graduation, I can’t help but be excited for the possibilities of what’s to come. The legendary Stuart Scott was one of the most pivotal figures in my life because he did something I was fascinated by in an interesting way that was true to who he was and that’s tell sports stories. His style, however, would inherently make these “human stories” and they would transcend the confines of numbers and trends. He provided the inspiration that guided me to discover my passion for sports journalism. I have had the pleasure of interning with ESPN, NBC Sports and a CBS affiliate in Norfolk, and I have learned in these experiences that sports journalism is something I would do for free. Would I want to? Well, of course not. I do plan to continue to carve my niche and put myself in a position to become a prominent voice to represent the African-American community and a familiar and trustworthy face on TV and computer screens across the nation much like my hero.
Valenzuela: I do plan to stay in sports journalism because I love it. Ever since I was young I have wanted to do something in sports for my career and am so lucky to be able to study what I love and am passionate about.
The Noise Report
(SI.com examines some of the week’s most notable sports media stories)
1. NBC said Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants game drew a 16.5 overnight rating, the league’s best Week 14 primetime window since Packers-Vikings drew a 17.3 on ABC’s Monday Night Football in 1997.
1a. Per Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily: ESPN drew a 1.7 overnight rating for the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday, which projects as the least-viewed Heisman presentation on record. The 1.7 overnight is down 15% from a 2.0 rating for last year.
1b. Excellent column by Jon Solomon of CBS Sports on the Heisman Trust’s self-importance regarding not allowing voters to reveal whom they voted for prior to the announcement.
2. Verne Lundquist stepped away from college football on Saturday after 42 years of calling the sport including the last 17 as the lead broadcaster for the SEC on CBS package. Here is how he signed off for the last time on a college football broadcast. Lundquist will continue to call the NCAA tournament and the Masters until his body (or CBS) says he cannot.
2a. Good news for the Scott Van Pelt-led SportsCenter version.
ESPN p.r. said comparing the period of Dec. 28, 2015 to Dec. 6, 2016 with Dec. 29, 2014 to Dec. 28, 2015, the midnight to 1 a.m. ET weekday edition of SportsCenter was up 6% in viewership (683,000 to 642,000). This is a good story for ESPN given how often their competitors have insisted the SportsCenter brand is trending downward. It’s also a good story for quality, as Van Pelt and his production crew have aimed to treat viewers like adults.
Now, the caveats: Van Pelt’s show started last September so these number include many months prior to his arrival. The comparison between Sept. 2016 and Sept. 2017 will tell a much more complete story and that story will be tougher for Van Pelt because Monday Night Football ratings have tanked this year. Also, the Midnight SC is down from Labor Day; p.r. departments are charged (often by management) to find the best possible story using metrics and all outlets do this, including SI. The larger takeaway is ESPN has found something working in this time slot and they should give Van Pelt and his group the autonomy to keep growing.
3. Episode 92 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore, who along with Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will call the national college football semifinal game between Alabama and Washington on Dec. 31
In this podcast, Tessitore discusses why versatility can be strength for sports broadcasters; how he prepares to call his college football assignments; the appeal of Tim Tebow and Paul Finebaum as sports broadcasters; working in Hartford with Gayle King as a local broadcaster; the skill set needed to call blow by blow boxing; why he’s not envious of Chris Fowler; the impact of the “Tess Effect,” which is a term used for all the close college football games he has called; why he loves hosting horse racing; working with analysts Teddy Atlas and Blackledge; the value of good producers; and much more. A reminder: You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.
4. Fox drew a 1.0 overnight rating for the MLS Cup finale, a game that aired on broadcast TV for the first time since 2008. Per Karp: The game tied with 2007, 2005 and 2002 (all on ABC) as the best MLS Cup finale overnight since ‘01. The 1.0 rating was up from a 0.4 overnight last year, which aired on a Sunday afternoon on ESPN opposite NFL action.
5. MLB Network Presents will air a documentary Tuesday on the history of Cuban baseball players leaving their country for the U.S. to pursue an MLB career. The film—Cuba: Island of Baseball—airs at 9 p.m. ET, and includes stories from Tony Oliva, Luis Tiant, Barbaro Garbey, Rene Arocha and contemporary players such as Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig and Yulieski Gurriel.
5a. ESPN announced Monday that Julie Stewart-Binks, previously of FS1, has joined its network as a soccer sideline reporter.
5b. Excellent piece by Scott Cacciola of The New York Times on the NBA in-game interview.
5c. Sports Business Daily media writer John Ourand offered his annual media predictions column.