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Art at St. Andrews

When Mike Reeder became the first wheelchair golfer to play St. Andrews in Scotland, producer Ben Houser was there to shoot it, as detailed by E:60 Production Notes.

In the pre-dawn hour Houser captured Reeder at the iconic Swilcan Bridge with a neat piece of equipment.  Later, at Hell Bunker on the 14th hole, as Reeder spread the ashes of his late friend, and was overcome with emotion, Houser captured it without being intrusive.

Houser, who produced the moving portrait of Josiah Viera last fall, tells emotional stories by first earning the trust of his subjects.

“A Small But Important Niche”

Among the first principles of sports journalism is “be original”.  Not an easy task when you are one of countless reporters in the Red Sox or Patriots pressbox.   How many ways can someone report that Adrian Gonzalez is a good hitter? Media at high-profile events tend to produce generic sausage.

But originality is not a problem for Justin Rice, who covers Boston Public School sports on a website he started in November 2009.   Often Rice is the only reporter at an event, and most of his stories are under the radar of mainstream Boston media.  Boston’s schools and neighborhoods are a rich vein of stories, and Rice is finding them, one by one, building a career.

Rice describes his “small but important niche” in this interview.

Cockfighting Cojones

Sports journalism isn’t always a perch in a comfy pressbox. Here’s a story about a producer for E:60 who went undercover to an illegal cockfight in Texas, with a buttonhole camera.

Rough crowd. Had he been unmasked no telling what would have happened. Fortunately he survived with health intact, stark footage, and a powerful story.

“Make Yourself Available”

When ESPN Boston started up in 2010 Scott Barboza landed one of the two positions, along with Brendan Hall, on the high school beat. How did he do it? He networked, from his job in the New England Patriots media relations department, Barboza explains in this interview.

But networking isn’t all of it. Barboza came straight out of Fall River with an Emerson College (2005) degree, a taste for fine dining, and an intellect that ranges from the work of Stephen Hawking to Jean-Pierre Jeunet to Gordon Edes.

Being the right person in the right place at the right time is a career skill not taught in college, or anywhere, for that matter. Barboza offers his advice.

A Story of Death and Second Chances

The story of the death of boxer Paco Rodriguez, at age 24 from ring-inflicted injuries, and the four women who are alive thanks to the internal organs he donated, is told by E:60 producers Vin Cannamela and Frank Saraceno.

Empathy and planning went into their story, entitled “Hero”. Cannamela and Saraceno, both seasoned pros, struggled to control their own emotions during one tearful scene. I dare anybody to watch it without being moved.

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