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ABU’s Sports Media Conference (SMC) kicks off with a workshop and masterclass on sports storytelling

Sports reporting, like all types of reporting, is an art that requires the right skills. In that spirit, the much-anticipated Sports Media Conference (SMC), taking place from May 14th to May 16th, kicked off today with two sessions on sports storytelling.

Darryl Gibson led a workshop titled “Sports News Reporting on Multisport Events,” moderated by ABU’s Project Manager Amir Khaidar. Darryl has had an illustrious career in sports reporting, including serving as an editor at eight Olympic Games, the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea, and several other major events such as the Asian Games, the Paralympic Games, the Nordic World Cup, and the Special Olympics.

Darryl emphasised that sports reporters must be strategic in their reporting, using their journalistic sense to decide which athletes deserve a platform and voice.

Darryl explained that a good sports reporter is not a fan or a public relations practitioner but a specialist in a particular sport or group of sports. He noted that being a retired athlete can help someone become a good sports reporter, but not necessarily so. Darryl also stated that a good sports reporter should not focus solely on sport execution and strategy but should have a strong grasp of news instinct, understanding what readers and audiences want to know, which usually includes facts about who won, what happened, and insights into the personalities of coaches and referees.

Meanwhile, a masterclass also kicked off the conference, moderated by Hakim Amir, Sports General Manager, Sports Media & Distributor, Malaysia. The masterclass featured ABU’s Head of TV, ABU Programming, Hanizah Hamzah, and Paul Kennedy, Sports Producer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Speaking from Sydney via live video, Paul shared personal anecdotes about his expertise and success in making sports documentaries, highlighting that good documentaries require personal engagement with the audience.

Attendees of the masterclass were treated to a viewing of the ABC documentary “Bradman and Tendulkar,” which compares the career paths of two of cricket’s greatest players, Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar, from their early lives to their greatest moments, uncovering striking similarities. “Bradman and Tendulkar” won the TV Sports category at the ABU Prizes 2023, a competition celebrating broadcast excellence across radio, television, and digital media.

Themed “The Rise of Sports in Asia,” the Sports Media Conference (SMC) is a premiere event organised by the ABU that gathers sports reporters and experts to push for sports broadcasting excellence across the Asia-Pacific region.