Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lessons in Cricket Journalism, from a newbie

I recently spent four days at Wormsley Cricket Ground, covering the women's Test for All Out Cricket. It was my first time in a press box (in this case, it was a tent), and I thought I would share the things I learned about cricket journalism below. Enjoy!

1. Cricket journalists aren't the all-seeing, all-knowing beings I thought they were. They don't always see everything. If they miss something, someone else will tell them roughly what happened.

2. Cricket journos can't produce a full report within half an hour of play finishing. They start writing it at tea, if not before, and adapt according to the match situation.

3. If you make it into the press area, food and drink are free. This appeals to the student in me enormously.

4. It is not the Done Thing to go "yesssss!" really loudly when England take a wicket. We are journalists and as such are totally unbiased, even when the opposition are Australia.

5. People read things you write, which makes you heavily accountable for your opinions. (This may sound obvious, but when I write something academic, I often wonder if anyone at all ever reads it. It took me a while to make the transition.)

6. Never try to predict things. You will be proved wrong, and will look like an idiot on twitter.

7. Everything is done in a rush. Thinking time is a luxury when you are trying to watch the cricket, interview people, tweet about the match situation, and write a match report simultaneously.

8. Cricket journos (at least the ones I've encountered) are nice and (fairly) normal people. Even the editor of The Cricketer ;-)

9. People become instantly suspicious when you produce a dictaphone from your bag.

10. Being a cricket journo is simultaneously the most exhausting and the most fun thing I have ever done. People who do it for a job are pretty damn lucky.

And a few others, learned at Lord's yesterday:

11. NEVER start writing a positive match report when England still have time to collapse spectacularly and lose a match they look like winning easily.

12. Press neutrality COUNTS FOR NOTHING when England are playing Australia.

13. Writing a match report when you are annoyed and miserable is hard.

14. Press passes are like gold dust. If you don't have one, you are in trouble. If you do...guard it with your life.