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Sports editor stresses being adaptive in journalism today

By Jeremy Shipe
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The sports world includes far more than just football, baseball and basketball. Miles Blumhardt has his fingerprints all over the sports pages of the Coloradoan as the editor for active life and sports.

Miles Blumhardt offers advice to current journalism students

Miles Blumhardt offers advice to current journalism students.

After receiving a journalism degree from the University of South Dakota, Blumhardt worked as a reporter at the Torrington Telegram and the Loveland Reporter-Herald. In 1991, he joined the Coloradoan, where he became an editor.

Blumhardt described the difference between being a reporter and an editor.

“As a reporter you write it but you may be influenced by your subject, and as an editor you see the bigger picture of the story,” he said. “You answer the questions that the readers may have about the story.”

The title of editor does little to describe exactly what Blumhardt’s day involves. Monday mornings start with individual meetings with five sports writers. Every day the newsroom staff has a collective meeting. From those meetings, his day is completely unpredictable.

Blumhardt works with writers on stories, budget, story ideas, layout and even pictures. He was a large part of the beginning of the Xplore section, which features outdoor adventures.

“The Xplore section reflects what people like to do out here,” he said. “The Thursday edition covers outdoor travel and Sunday covers running, fishing, fitness, hiking and camping.”

Some recent changes in the industry have had an effect on how the Coloradoan reaches its audience. Blumhardt said that for the last five years the newspaper has emphasized video content, which is a medium that has become much stronger. He also cited metrics growing in importance. Online information gives the paper demographics and tells how to make their readers happy.

Social media is another emerging factor in journalism that Blumhardt believes is having a significant positive impact. It allows for immediate interaction with readers and viewers. He shed a little light on the idea of print journalism disappearing.

“All models show print dying and media gaining,” he said. “Print readers are always going to exist but the transition is constant.”

Students looking to dive into journalism  are going to see just as many changes in the industry. Blumhardt offered some helpful advice for students.

“You really have to be multi-skilled and have to be really good at social media and video,” he said. “The journalism field is more challenging now than it was when I started.”

He warned that his next statement would be very strong words of advice.

“Be adaptive because if you’re not, you’re gone.”

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