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Jan 17 / Jason Marcum

In sportswriting, speed is important, but quality is worth the time

Jason MarcumWhen I first got into sportswriting, I thought I had to generate content faster than everyone else, especially when it came to reporting news. I always thought getting news out first was the best way to build an audience, but that isn’t always the case.

As part of the Bleacher Report Advanced Program in Sports Media, I’ve learned to slow down and focus more on the quality of my arguments. Speed will come with practice, but a quality article is always the goal.

My strength as a writer is in researching and developing my arguments. I love to take time with my work so I can be sure anyone who reads it will take something new away.

People are taking the time to read my work, and I don’t want to leave them with dull statements or obvious facts like “Tom Brady is a clutch quarterback.”

Instead, I dig deeper into advanced statistics, recent and past trends, etc., so I can be sure my article sticks out from the rest.

The worst thing you can do when working too quickly is make a spelling or factual error, especially with a name (which I’ve done with Dwayne instead of Dwyane Wade).

Readers will remember your work for mistakes like this, and they’ll likely remember not to come back.

It’s important, especially on the news desk, to get articles posted in a fairly timely manner, but quality comes first and foremost, and B/R has helped me find that balance between quality and speed.

My goal as a writer is to entertain my readers and give them information they may not have known, and by slowing down, taking the time to carefully construct my work and not worrying about being first, I’m able to publish my best work.

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Jason Marcum is in the Winter class. Follow him on Twitter @UK_Fans.

One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask members of the Bleacher Report Advanced Program in Sports Media to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.