Henry Abbott – TrueHoop/ESPN

Posted on 03. Oct, 2007 by in Big Media

Your work in networked/citizen/collaborative journalism

I have a journalism degree from NYU, and consider myself a fairly serious journalist who worked at CBS Network Radio News, at WIBA-AM in Madison, and as a freelance writer for magazines like Men’s Journal, HOOP, Inside Stuff, etc. (I hate the idea that blogs are a lesser form of journalism.) I started the basketball blog TrueHoop in 2005, and in early 2007 it was purchased by ESPN where it is my full-time job.

At TrueHoop, I get offers from readers (college students, other bloggers, researchers, journalists, etc.) to help with projects all the time. For the longest time, I simply turned them away, not knowing how to responsibly integrate their efforts in a way that would make everyone happy and serve the readers of TrueHoop.

What are your goals?
To learn from other’s experience, to make some connections, and to get the ball rolling for a pretty cool collaborative project that I have in mind — the NBA has an All-Star Game coming up in New Orleans. It’s a massive undertaking in a broken city. I don’t want to rely on press releases to determine how the event might impact the city (last year’s event in Las Vegas featured a fair amount of mayhem). I would love to have smart people on the ground in New Orleans giving us a sense of what New Orleans is like in the lead up to the event and during.

What are some of your notable achievements?
I was once named NYU’s best broadcast journalism student! And at WIBA I was the lead reporter in a newscast that was named the best in six states. I don’t really care about any of that crap, though. I’m all about TrueHoop, which was nothing in May 2005, and then was named Best of the Web by Forbes shortly after it was launched. Since then it has been mentioned more than once in The New York Times. It has been linked to by all kinds of great blogs. I have been a guest on NPR, and dozens of radio shows from Portland to Philadelphia. And now I think I am the first person ever to publish freely on ESPN.com.

Lesson you’ve learned (including mistakes you’ve made)
Oh man. You know what? I make mistakes all the time. My biggest lesson, I guess, is to do everything as well as possible and not put anything off. The projects that I don’t complete are the ones I don’t start. I know, duh. But that’s the truth.

I have more ideas than I know how to handle, and I need to find ways to integrate more people into my work.

Are you getting revenue for this? How?
I get a salary from ESPN.

What’s next? What do you need to get to the next level?
Smarts about managing citizen journalists.

Anyone you’d particularly like to talk with, learn from, or work with at the summit

I’m a big Steven Rubel fan. Jay Rosen is doing fantastic things at my alma mater, and I would love to have a relationship with him. And who doesn’t want to meet Jeff Jarvis? But honestly, I expect to have great experiences learning from just about any of these people.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. NBAVids - Basketball Rocks » Henry Abbott - TrueHoop/ESPN - October 3, 2007

    [...] Awful Announcing- wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptI started the basketball blog TrueHoop in 2005, and in early 2007 it was purchased by ESPN where it is my full-time job. At TrueHoop, I get offers from readers (college students, other bloggers, researchers, journalists, etc. … [...]

  2. Who I’ve Learned From - 107 Interviews « DigiDave - Journalism is a Process, Not a Product - May 24, 2009

    [...] Henry Abbott – TrueHoop/ESPN [...]

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