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BPS Sports Blog

Justin Rice of Boston Public Schools Sports Blog featured “Next Up at Fenway”.

Justin created the blog — as an independent journalist — a few years ago.  He detailed its genesis in a 2011 interview with Sports Media Guide.

I met him in 2011 at a Fenway High baseball game in Dorchester.  Now the blog belongs to the Boston Globe and Justin curates it.  He  is the go-to guy for anything about BPS sports and his Twitter feed is always entertaining.  After the Marathon bombings he had a steady stream of relevant tweets.  Full disclosure:  Justin read and commented on an early draft of “Next Up.”

Beat Writer Blues

Sure, it sounds glamorous.  Covering the Celtics for the Boston Herald, hobnobbing with the likes of Mike Gorman and Gary Washburn, is the stuff of journalism school fantasy.

Steve Bulpett

But Steve Bulpett, who has had the beat since 1985, is here to tell you that it exacts a physical and emotional toll.  Physical, from long hours, irregular sleep and exercise, and poor diet.  Emotional, from the adrenaline high of the season and the inevitable and spooky decompression after it ends.

The toll on a writer’s personal life is another subject altogether.  Bulpett, 54,  says he has been “close to the alter a few times – three arrests, no convictions” in this candid interview. And though he does not disclose his favorite haunts on Boston’s North Shore, sources say he can be found at Red Rock Bistro in Swampscott on weekends.

“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.