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Sports reporters turn cameras on themselves, spice up media days

Dallastown’s Taylor Grove, left, and Keith Matthews turn the tables on Daily Record/Sunday News reporter John Clayton, recording him with his own camera during YAIAA football media day Thursday at the York Expo Center. (Daily Record/Sunday News — Kate Penn)
It might be early August, and it might be 100 degrees outside, but in the Daily Record/Sunday News sports department, none of that matters.

It’s football season.

In what has become an annual tradition, both Penn State and the YAIAA held their football media days on Thursday, which generally means the sports department kidnaps the photo department and scrambles to get all of the photos, videos, helmet photos, rosters, stats and schedules that we’ll need for the whole year. All 22 of the York-Adams high schools send players and coaches to the York Expo Center for a media frenzy, while almost 200 media members trekked to State College to interact with new coach Bill O’Brien and his Nittany Lions. It’s a busy day for all involved, but it means the fall sports season is really here.

But with any annual event, we’re challenged to bring a new twist to our coverage. A way to make it more exciting than rehashing the same stories and photos and videos from last year. And media days are packed with reporters shoving mics and cameras in front of players, who are caught like deer in headlights, making it tough to get them to open up or show some personality.

Thursday, our crew came up with some awesome twists. Somewhat unintentionally, we ended up turning the cameras on ourselves, and the results are fairly hilarious. Click the jump for a pair of videos that are more than worth your while.

YAIAA media day
High school sports reporter John Clayton went out on a limb last month when West York held a parade to honor its state champion baseball team. In search of a cool video opportunity, he put his FlipCam in the hands of the players themselves to document the parade in their honor. The resulting video added a really unique layer to our coverage that helped elevate the story.

So on Thursday, GameTimePA.com editor Lyzz Jones decided to try it again. This time, she gave the camera to several groups of football players to turned the tables on John, who gets “ambushed with my own FlipCam.” Here’s the video:


Penn State media day
The other twist on a traditional video came thanks to some good timing. On Tuesday, John stumbled upon this tweet from Penn State linebacker Ben Kline, who’s a Dallastown graduate:


The video gave us a chuckle in the newsroom, and it stuck with Daily Record/Sunday News reporter Frank Bodani as he mulled ways to get the players to open up. Thursday at Beaver Stadium, he had his chance to chat with Ben, and, well, the rest is preserved for posterity in this video:


They’re not traditional news report videos by any means. And they might not be examples of award-winning journalism. But you know what? They’re a lot of fun, and they bring an energy to the players and reporters alike that brightens the entire package. When those chances come along, we have to jump on them.

More from media days
Optimism abounds at YAIAA media day
Penn State resets with first media day under Bill O’Brien