ATHENS, Ga.- Professionals in sports media gathered in the Peyton Anderson Forum of Grady College Friday for a roundtable discussion with students where they reflected on how social media platforms have impacted the way they cover college football.
The panel included Keri Potts, ESPN senior director of public relations for college football, Pat Forde, a college football writer for Yahoo! Sports, Dan Wolken, national college football reporter for USA Today Sports, and Mark Schlabach, senior college football writer for ESPN.com.
They focused on the new age of social media and how it affects reporting of football events. Wolken says that print media has become less significant in the realm of sports and live action coverage of games is crucial for drawing readers.
The group noted that the atmosphere of the South is one of the reasons why they enjoy covering college football.
“It’s beautiful, but sometimes a little scary,” said Potts of the passion of SEC football fans.
With such a dedicated fan base, conflict of opinion is inevitable. Social media has allowed more direct interaction with sports reporters and fans.
Forde says that while feedback from posts and stories can be beneficial, it is better to not respond to negative comments.
At the end of the session, the speakers were asked to give advice to the students. They agreed that it is important to seize every opportunity and work your way up in your career.
The discussion was moderated by part-time Grady faculty member Bryan Harris and was free to all University of Georgia students.
The panel was hosted by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and Grady Sports Media. Around 70 students were in attendance.