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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

History of Online Columns

After completing a journalism class in grade 11, my interest in journalism had risen greatly. This new found love for collecting data and writing stories, led me to start writing sports columns on the internet. I was very excited the first time my work was published online and kept up with it consistently. Here is a closer look at how my online columns started.

*Note: You can find links to all my columns on the front page*

Rider Report Card: Published online on www.riderfans.com
Rider Report Card was my first journalist work that was published online. Obviously this column is very special to me, because it helped me gain more experience in the field of journalism, and I got to write about my favourite sports franchise, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I am very thankful to Shane Chapman, for he was the one who let me write Rider Report Card.

Rider Fans is a site/forum dedicated to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. There are a group of hardcore Rider Fans on the site that talk about everything to do with the Roughriders. I had been on this site for about a year, when my opportunity to write an article came to me. The owner at that time, Shane Chapman, made some renovations to the site. One of these changes was to add some fan written columns. There were already some columnists selected by the time I heard about this, so I wasn’t sure if he would let me write one. I pitched an idea for a column entitled: Rider Report Card.. This column would take a look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders performance after each game, and grade them on offense, defense, etc…

Thankfully; Shane accepted this idea and my journey began. Rider Report Card has been a successful column and has gotten positive feedback. In the off-season, my column expanded and I talked about the Rider’s off-season. I also ran a survey on the site, where fans gave me feedback on the Rider off-season and I made it into an article. Into the second season now of Rider Report Card, the column is still going strong.

Link to Rider Report Card: http://www.riderfans.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=31&Itemid=125

My CFL Column: Published on multiple sites

I had been writing about the Riders for about a year, and was fairly content. However, I also had a great interest in the Canadian Football League and general and wanted to voice my opinions about the league. The first opportunity to write a column about the CFL came on http://www.riderprider.com/.

One day, I happened to come across this site, and I noticed it was a pretty interesting blog/site about the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I also noticed that there was a column section. There were two columns when I arrived, one about the Saskatchewan Roughriders offense and one about the defense. I thought this would be a great chance to write a column about the CFL. After voicing my idea to the owner, he accepted and soon my first ever CFL column entitled "CFL Buzz" was created. This column covered everything about the Canadian Football League and has gotten positive feedback. One reader said they read CFL Buzz all the time.

As it says up above, my work on the CFL has been published on multiple sites. More than a year after my first column started, I came across a site called Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report is a site built for aspiring journalists. There are sections on many different sports and anyone can join and write. The audience on Bleacher Report was definitely greater that what I was getting on Rider Prider, so I started posting my work on the CFL on this site. I also published some original work here as well. About a month or two into my time on Bleacher Report, I rose up the CFL Rankings to become the number one CFL writer. Once again, feedback has been positive for my articles.

A few other opportunities sprung from Bleacher Report. One of the other CFL writers, a member by the name of Giants 27, runs a site called The Canadian Football League Report. He invited me to contribute my work to this site and I have been ever since. Another member of Bleacher Report and an occasional CFL writer named Bryan Brackney, said he loved my CFL work and would love if I would post my work on his blog, Reservation for Six.

Link to CFL Buzz: http://www.riderprider.com/cflbuzz.html
Link to archive of my Bleacher Report Work: http://bleacherreport.com/users/109209-jonathan-hamelin/archives/newest
Link to The Canadian Football League Report: http://thecanadianfootballleaguereport.blogspot.com/

Sports Central: Columnist
I have been successful writing about the Canadian Football League, but felt it was time to expand my horizon. As a journalist, you never know what you will be covering, so I thought it would be a good idea to write articles not about the CFL as well.

To write articles on Sports Central, you have to apply. The owner of the site was impressed with my resume and accepted me, even though they were getting more particular with who they accepted.