During my time as a club sports reporter here at The Daily Collegian in the fall of 2009, my goal was to one day make my mark on this newspaper as a member of the football beat.
They’re the ones that get those big headline stories on page one, they’re the ones who ask Joe Paterno and his players the big questions after the game, and perhaps most importantly, they’re the ones that eat the free food in the press box at halftime.
Getting to the top of the reporting mountain here takes some time, though.
The fine writers you’ll see breaking football stories this fall put in years covering the less visible sports here on campus.
They’ve been polishing their skills and preparing feverishly for their shots at the big time.
As a freshman, I wasn’t willing to wait that long for my taste of the bright lights.
I wanted to have my cake here and eat it, too.
While reporting on beats like club sports and men’s tennis by day, I wrote as a member of the amateur blog mob by night, signing on with one of the Web’s leading Penn State sports blogs to write about football and basketball.
I was quickly promoted to editor of the site and learned the ins and outs of how to run a successful amateur blog.
In that time, I heard every tired blogger cliché in the book. I was told how newspapers are out of touch with what readers want, out of date when they reach people’s hands, and generally in decline.
I also learned bloggers, especially Penn State bloggers strewn across the United States, can’t do anything without newspaper reporters.
They need us to print quotes they can grab in between creating Photoshops of athletes and thinking up pithy one-liners to build blog posts around.
They need us to ask questions at press conferences so they can copy and paste the answers from a transcript somewhere when it’s over.
They need our columns to make fun of when they’re zapped of creativity, and we’re the ones they ask for advertising dollars when they realize their hobbies aren’t making them any money.
With that in mind, on behalf of my fellow staff members here at The Daily Collegian, I’m proud to announce the founding of our universal Penn State sports blog, Roll Up the Score.
You can find it on the web at http://www.collegian.psu.edu/blogs/sports_blog/.
There, we’ll cut out the middle men and women of the blogosphere and give you all the best of the blogging realm, melded with all the Collegian reporting you’ve come to count on over the years. Let me break it down for you, blogger style.
Print content will collide with raw video and interviews straight from the fields, courts, mats, pools, tracks and ice surfaces of your favorite teams.
Question and answer sessions will get you up-close and personal with your favorite Penn State athletes. And of course, you’ll be able to stay informed with all the up-to-the-second reports of what’s going on in the Happy Valley sports scene.
When you read news on Roll Up the Score, you’ll know it was posted by a writer who talked to sources, checked his facts, and got it right, not an anonymous fan trying play reporter on his lunch hour by regurgitating a rumor he found with his $9.95 monthly subscription to a recruiting site message board.
Are you a big fan of Penn State’s national championship-winning wrestling and women’s volleyball teams, but can’t find most of their matches on your TV dial?
Don’t worry. Our live blogs will take you straight into the action, offering score updates and commentary, not to mention a place to chat about the action with fellow Nittany Lion partisans.
Not a big fan of book marking? Follow our specialized Facebook and Twitter feeds to find us on the sites you use most.
We’re excited about the launch, and we hope you are, too. The coming year has to potential to be another memorable one here in Happy Valley, and we’re ready to take you through all the highs and all the lows on Roll Up the Score.
As for me? I’ll be busy putting together the newspaper you hold in your hands right now, keeping a 125-year tradition alive with no end in sight.