The Ball State Daily News is the winner of the second-annual Off the Block Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year.
Off the Block conducted a season-long analysis of the online coverage for NCAA men’s volleyball on college newspaper websites from around the nation.
Newspapers were judged based on their online articles about men’s volleyball throughout the season, both in terms of quality and quantity. Also factored into this award was a newspaper’s use of online media platforms such as photo galleries, audio slideshows, videos, blogs and social media for men’s volleyball coverage.
The Ball State Daily News is the on-campus student newspaper at Ball State University. Men’s volleyball beat reporters Andrew Mishler and Steven Ward and photographer Corey Ohlenkamp led the newspaper in its coverage of the Cardinals this season.
The Ball State Daily News joins The Daily Collegian from Penn State University as the only newspapers to win this award.
The Daily Collegian, Daily Bruin and Daily Universe were named finalists for the Off the Block Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year.
Off the Block is the nation’s leading website for NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball news and analysis. Every Sunday throughout the regular season Off the Block also published the top five men’s volleyball stories of the week, which recognized the best written stories from around the nation.
2012 OFF THE BLOCK BEST ONLINE COVERAGE FOR MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
The Ball State Daily News
Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
Comments: The Ball State Daily News was the most consistent and balanced newspaper in the nation at using multiple media platforms on its website to report on men’s volleyball this season. Lead beat reporter and sports editor Andrew Mishler averaged about five articles per week — including a nice mix of online updates minutes after a match ended and compelling feature stories that went beyond the box score. One of Mishler’s top stories of the year was a personality profile on outside attacker Jeff Aucoin. Aucoin was a graduate student who transferred to Ball State in his final year of eligibility after playing three years of club volleyball at New Hampshire. Along with these articles, the Daily News made an emphasis to provide strong online coverage. The newspaper for every home match and select road matches had an in-match live chat that gave readers instant in-match updates and allowed fans to comment on the action. In addition, the newspaper filmed a weekly five-minute online sports show breaking down the upcoming week for Ball State volleyball. The Daily News also successfully incorporated photos to its online coverage. Led by photographers Dylan Buell and Corey Ohlenkamp the newspaper had online photo galleries for a majority of the Ball State matches.
2012 OFF THE BLOCK BEST ONLINE COVERAGE FOR MEN’S VOLLEYBALL FINALISTS
The Daily Collegian
Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
Comments: For the second straight year, The Daily Collegian remained the newspaper writing the most articles for a men’s volleyball team during the season. Beat reporters John Stuetz, Jake Somerville and Kevin Byrne spearheaded The Daily Collegian’s in-depth coverage of Penn State and together wrote about seven articles per week on the team. Among the more compelling articles throughout the season included Stuetz’s feature story about Title IX’s affects on men’s volleyball. In addition, each writer placed on emphasis on writing personality profile stories on several Nittany Lions that gave the readers an opportunity to learn about the players beyond just what they saw on the court. Along with the articles, the newspaper had the most active Twitter account for men’s volleyball coverage. The Daily Collegian’s men’s volleyball Twitter account, @TDC_MVolleyball, would average more than 40 Tweets during a match.
ULCA, Los Angeles
Comments: The Daily Bruin provided steady preview and game coverage throughout the season with volleyball beat reporters Kevin Bowman and Chris Kalra, and also added several in-depth player profile stories. The newspaper’s top article of the season was Kalra’s feature story about senior outside attacker Jeremy Casebeer overcoming a potential career-ending injury and working his way back into the Bruins starting lineup. The Daily Bruin was the nation’s best newspaper at lead writing for men’s volleyball stories. Bowman and Kalra effectively used embodiment and anecdotal leads that helped bring the reader into the rest of the article and provided great in-sight to their beat. Beyond the articles, the Daily Bruin provided video highlights for select home matches. It also posted strong action photos of the men’s volleyball team with each of its online articles.
The Daily Universe
BYU, Provo, Utah
Comments: The Daily Universe had the least amount of articles of the three finalists, but all of its articles went beyond rehashing a box score and provided readers with great in-sights to BYU throughout the season. In addition, the newspaper added strong feature stories, including an personality profile piece about why middle attacker Quentin Smith turned down a job on Wall Street to return to BYU. Beat reporter Taylor Street was also effective at getting several powerful quotes throughout the year that she incorporated into her stories. Among the best quotes was coach Chris McGown’s calling another coach’s actions unethical following a controversial serve call in a late-season match against UCLA. Along with the articles, the newspaper delved into online video coverage during the season with its best video being a package story on freshman outside attacker Josue Rivera.