SBJ/Aug. 25-31, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Plugged In: Aaron Kasinitz, The Diamondback

As the sports editor for the University of Maryland’s daily newspaper, The Diamondback, Aaron Kasinitz has a front row seat for the school’s move to the Big Ten Conference. He is also engaged with the rapidly evolving platforms of sports media — both producing content and, as a fan, consuming it. The senior journalism major, who covers Maryland’s basketball team and writes a regular column on the football team, weighs in here on the shifting college landscape and trends he sees in media and journalism.

I’d like to see more reporting on the way AAU kids are treated from 8th grade to 12th grade. College basketball recruiting is over-covered, but the impact that recruiting has on children and families is under-covered. There are stories beneath the surface that people haven’t delved into as far as they could.


Photo by: JAMES LEVIN
On Maryland’s move to the Big Ten:
If the school’s administration can make a move that’s going to secure the university’s financial standing, it has to do that. Maryland just announced that it was going to offer guaranteed degrees for student athletes, where they now get four-year scholarships rather than one-year. I don’t think they would have been able to do that if they hadn’t joined the Big Ten.

On stories that are popular at his paper: We don’t break as much news as The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post. We got a lot of clicks when former basketball manager Zach Lederer passed away; we confirmed that he had passed away from cancer before any other news sources. A lot of our features have done well, including one I wrote about Akil Patterson, who was a gay football player at Maryland about 10 years ago.

How he consumes sports: When I have the television on, I have my TweetDeck up. I’m following along reading tweets from athletes and sports writers who are watching the games. I prefer watching on TV, but I also stream a lot of games, most recently with the World Cup. As a student journalist, I use Twitter a lot. I use the Facebook app. I use apps like First Row Sports to stream games on my computer. I’m not a huge app guy.

On social media: I’m a Twitter and Facebook guy. I’m on Twitter constantly. I don’t get into Instagram. I’ve never been huge about sharing my own opinion, but I really like other people’s opinions, and that’s what Twitter is really for.

On a trend in journalism: Journalists are becoming part of the story more now with Twitter. You can see this with The Washington Post and The Huffington Post reporters getting arrested in Ferguson, Mo. That’s a trend that isn’t necessarily a good one.

— John Ourand

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