J200: Reporting the News – Sports, Democracy, & Inequality

Fall 2019

J200: Mondays 9 AM- 12 PM  – 101 North Gate

J211: Tuesdays 2 PM-5 PM – 108 North Gate (Lower Newsroom)

J298: Fridays 10-12 PM – 109 North Gate (Upper Newsroom)

Course description: A course tailored to the skill level/interests of the students that explores issues of democracy and inequality as they overlap with the sports landscape. Sports are fertile ground to explore larger issues; the US Women’s Soccer team fighting for pay equity, football players kneeling, immigration issues in high school soccer, etc. Initial exercises will help set realistic goals and progression steps. From there, we’ll write news stories and short features and cover reporting and interviewing technique. We’ll focus on editing and feedback

The goal: to pitch and publish as often as possible, in local/national outlets as well as the hyperlocal sites. By the end of the semester, students should have a collection of clips across story types; be versed in the core fundamentals of reporting, interviewing, and structuring/writing stories; and feel a sense of purpose and excitement about all that is to come.

About the Instructor:

Chris Ballard is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and the author of four books, most recently “One Shot at Forever.” He’s written for The New York Times Magazine, his work has been anthologized in “The Best American Magazine Writing”, and six of his features have appeared in “The Best American Sports Writing.” He’s a National Magazine Award finalist and seven of his stories have been optioned for film. He’s covered the NBA on and off for over a decade and writes features, columns, and narrative stories for Sports Illustrated. He attended Pomona College and received a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. This is his fourth year teaching at the Cal J-School.

Contact and Office Hours

Chris Ballard, cballard@berkeley.edu

Office hours: Monday 2-4 PM, Tuesday 12-2 PM

Office location: B42B (in the J200 dungeon)

Class Tutor

Sarah Trent, sarah.trent@berkeley.edu

Office Hours: By appointment

Cover photo credit: Anthony Hall on Unsplash