If you have a passion for photography/videography/writing, and sports in The District and Maryland area, Maryland Sports Access would be enlightened to have you on our crew.
Our vision: MSA is a media outlet solely dedicated to bring fans of local collegiate, high school and professional sports all across the state of Maryland, and even The District, closer to the action.
MSA is maintained by two highly skilled and passionate individuals — Kyle McFadden, who works for Frederick County’s newspaper The Frederick-News Post and numerous of other media outlets, serves as the Editor-in-Chief; and Evan Engelhard, who works for Hagerstown’s news station WHAG, serves as the digital media editor.
To be considered as a journalist, one must be able to write coherently, interview people (mostly strangers) effectively, have knowledge of using social media (mostly Twitter) in a professional manner, and most importantly, carry a passionate demeanor with their work.
To be considered as a photographer and/or videographer, one must be able to supply him/herself with a camera/camcorder and have some sort of experience in their desired field.
MSA also offers positions for graphic designers, marketing, social media managers and statisticians.
As a writer, you must utilize Associated Press style writing:
One through nine are generally spelled out, while 10 and above are generally written as numerals.
Example: Jake Funk carried the football 25 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
When first introducing a person, always use the full name. After that, only use the last name. For teams, first introduce the full name, and then refer to the location or mascot.
Example: Alexander Ovechkin scored two goals last night for the Washington Capitals. Ovechkin. who is in the middle of his prime, had a performance that the Capitals desire more often.
Never use a quote longer than four lines or sentences. This is considered a block quote. And, always introduce the voice of your quote after the first sentence. If you want to use a quote, but need to shorten it up, use an ellipsis (“…”) to substitute the part that was cut out.
INCORRECT: “It was lack of focus tonight. For whatever reason, we just weren’t mentally checked in. … Just because we beat them already doesn’t mean we’ll be guaranteed a victory the second time around. We’ll get back on track,” D.J. Harvey, the 5-star recruit said.
Example: “It was lack of focus tonight,” D.J. Harvey, the 5-star recruit said. “For whatever reason, we just weren’t mentally checked in. … Just because we beat them already doesn’t mean we’ll be guaranteed a victory the second time around. We’ll get back on track.”
Percentages are always expressed as numerals, followed by the word “percent.” NEVER use the % symbol.
Example: Thomas Lang converted 40 percent of his 3-pointers in the 2015-2016 high school basketball season.
Ages are always expressed as numerals.
Example: He is 5 years old.
PARAGRAPHS AND ARTICLE LENGTH
Nowadays, less is the new more. This goes with paragraph size, and normally, the length of the article. Paragraphs should be no more than three sentences. For articles, an appropriate length is 250-700 words. If reporting a game, target 450-800. The longer stories are, the more interesting they need to be. Nobody wants to read 700-900 word stories filled with play-by-play and useless fluff. Make your stories interesting. Remember, you’re part entertainer. Feature stories can range from 800-2,000+ words.
Dollar amounts are always expressed as numerals, and the “$” sign is used.
Example: Adam Jones signed a six year, $85.5 million contract in 2012 ($5, $15, $150, $150,000, $15 million, $15 billion, $15.5 billion)
Numerals are used for numbered addresses. Street, Avenue and Boulevard are abbreviated when used with a numbered address, but otherwise are spelled out. Route and Road are never abbreviated.
Example: He lives at 123 Main St. His house is on Main Street. Her house in on 234 Elm Road.
Dates are expressed as numerals. The months August through February are abbreviated when used with numbered dates. March through July are never abbreviated. Months without dates are not abbreviated. “Th” is not used.
Example: The meeting is on Oct. 15. She was born on July 12. I love the weather in November.
Job titles are generally capitalized when they appear before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name.
Example: President George Bush. George Bush is the president.
Here is what is required as a MSA reporter:
You must interview at least one player and the head coach from the winning team. If you need to, get a quote from the losing teams coach. Have a set series of questions ready to go beforehand, but if the person you are interviewing steers another direction or says something interesting, don’t ignore it, and go deeper into whatever it may be. The more notes and quotes you get, the better. Just be organized. If not, it can be a headache if you have information scattered around when you sit down and write the article.
NOTES, NOTES, NOTES — NOTEPAD AND TAPE RECORDER
Over the course of a game or event, always have a notepad to keep a game log and any other notes that might be newsworthy or add color to your article. And always have some type of tape recorder on hand. If you don’t have one, your phone will do the job. Again, take more notes than you’ll think you’re ever going to need.
While the game or event is occurring, we require you to tweet live updates periodically on the Maryland Sports Access Twitter (@MDSportsAccess) and/or on your personal account. When doing so, it needs to be done with professionalism. And when tweeting the scores, use the mascot for professional teams (ex: NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, etc.) and for collegiate and high school, use the location.
Example: “END 1Q: Damascus 7, Linganore 0. Jake Funk has 75 yards and 2 TD’s on 8 carries.” and NEVER “Hornets 7, Lancers 0.” OR “DHS 7, LHS 0.”
Also, always get a head shot/picture of the player that performed at the highest level or was most valuable. This can be useful for social media and your written article.
Do you feel like you can be a crew member of Maryland Sports Access? Fill out the information below and, if possible, a resume with samples of your work.
Thank you for considering Maryland Sports Access and your message will be answered as soon as possible.
Kyle McFadden (@k_fadd)