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Media Masters #18 – Bob Ryan, Legendary Boston Globe Sportswriter

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Bob Ryan is perhaps the greatest American sportswriter of all-time, with a 44-year career covering some of the greatest moments in Boston sports. In this episode, Ryan discusses his outstanding career, how sports journalism has evolved over his newspaper days, and talks about his new book, “Scribe: My Life in Sports.”

For a kid who grew up wanting to be the Celtics beat writer for the Boston Globe, Bob Ryan was required reading, especially when I got to college and started journalism school at Boston University. During junior year, when I was asked to write a profile of someone noteworthy, I picked Bob Ryan and called his desk at the Globe. Ryan was very gracious, inviting me to interview him at the Globe offices, and was very generous with his time, talking for well over an hour at the time about his career and how he got started.

Decades later, Ryan’s still just as passionate about sports as he was when he started, and he was equally gracious with his time talking about his career and his new book. For a podcast called Media Masters, Bob Ryan fits the bill perfectly.

Buy Scribe: My Life in Sports on Amazon.com.

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Media Masters #10 – Molly McGrath, Fox Sports 1

For the 10th episode of Media Masters, I talked to Molly McGrath, an NFL sideline reporter, anchor and host at Fox Sports 1 who launched her on-camera career as the website reporter at the Boston Celtics. In under one year, Molly’s become a break out star at the new network, and is now featured on the nightly SportsCenter competitor, “America’s Pregame,” which airs five nights a week on Fox Sports 1.

Molly talked about her work ethic and drive that led to her success, what it was like to help launch the network, and how far her career has gone in such little time. She also offers insights for young reporters hoping to follow a similar career path, and shares some stories from her incredible journey.

Listen:

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Media Masters #3 – Jeopardy! Champ Brad Rutter

In Episode #3, Brad Rutter, the all-time leading money winner in the history of Jeopardy!, talks to Media Masters about his success on the show, what makes him such an adept player, and going head-to-head against Ken Jennings and IBM’s Watson.

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Media Masters Podcast – Episode 1 – Dan Harbison, Caesars Entertainment (Part 1)

I’m taking up a new hobby in 2014 and launching a podcast. The idea is simple; I’m going to talk to some of the leaders in digital, social and traditional media who I’ve gotten the chance to know (and a few I’ve never met) to learn more about their work and share it with people who may find it interesting and relevant.

My first call was to Dan Harbison (@darbison), who’s currently the Global Head of New Media at Caesars Entertainment Corporation in Las Vegas, NV. I’ve known Dan since about 2005 from his days as the Sr. Director of Digital Marketing and Media at the Portland Trail Blazers, and he’s a guy who I respect tremendously. We talked for over an hour, and probably could have gone on for another hour. We split the conversation into two parts.

The first episode (just over 40 minutes) covers Dan’s outlook on database marketing, the differences between working in the NBA and the gaming/casino industry, what makes a great hashtag, and whose marketing during the Super Bowl actually worked. I really enjoyed our conversation and hopefully a few digital marketing/social media geeks out there will as well.

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I wish every aspiring digital media pro was a journalism major

I wish every student who wants to work in digital media was a journalism major. Maybe I’m biased, but the basic rules of journalism are critical to anyone who’s going to be a digital media pro: spell names correctly, demand factual accuracy and verify your sources, and don’t plagiarize — this means you, bloggers! Those principles haven’t changed, but the distribution methods and technologies are evolving faster than ever. Journalism isn’t about how to write an article for a newspaper that’s nearly extinct. It’s about how to tell a relevant, balanced and accurate story. That’s a timeless idea, regardless of the medium.

Expertise in digital media, of course, evolves literally by the day. What’s true of today’s technology may not be true tomorrow. Facebook, Twitter, Google and friends change the rules and capabilities daily, all while constantly raising the stakes. It’s not practical to expect universities to keep their technology curriculum current without instructors who are actively living and breathing this stuff. Students are likely to learn more than they’d ever absorb in the confines of the classroom by interning with a start-up or tech company, or by simply digging in and immersing themselves on their own time.

Journalism school used to be the prerequisite for having the power to (mis)inform the masses. The advent of social media certainly decentralized the creation and distribution of information, but that democratization of influence comes at a heavy price. Forget the pen; the smartphone is now mightier than the sword, especially where it pertains to self-inflicted wounds. Companies and brands must be vigilant and selective when deciding who will brandish their digital media assets. A journalism degree, not to mention common sense, would be a logical baseline requirement.