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Beth Moellers
IU School of Journalism

Tim Franklin
IU School of Journalism

Last modified: Monday, March 9, 2009

Public invited to IU National Sports Journalism Center's inaugural event Wednesday

March 9, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- A panel discussion featuring prominent local and national journalists is the inaugural event Wednesday (March 11) for the Indiana University School of Journalism's new National Sports Journalism Center.

"Heroes, Hype and the Truth: Separating Fact from Fiction in Today's Sports World" will feature panelists Steve Lavin of ABC-TV and ESPN; Sage Steele, ESPN SportsCenter anchor; Gene Wojciechowski, senior national writer for ESPN Magazine; and Bob Kravitz, sports columnist at the Indianapolis Star and ESPN Radio cohost.

The event is the first for the new center, which is located at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex, 535 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis. The panel discussion will take place at 6:45 p.m. in the first floor auditorium (IT 152).

Director Tim Franklin, formerly editor of the Baltimore Sun, joined the IU School of Journalism in January to head the new sports journalism center.

"One of the missions of the new National Sports Journalism Center at IU is to illuminate the major trends and issues in sports in America. And at a center dedicated to the study of sports media, we decided that the first issue we wanted to explore was the state of sports media itself," Franklin said.

"The sports media landscape is being completely transformed by the Internet, new mobile technologies and a proliferation of sports on cable and satellite. Sports fans have never had more media choices than they do today," Franklin said. "But are they getting credible information -- or just more of it? Where do they turn for news they can trust? And how is all this affecting the work of traditional sports media? We'll explore these questions, and others, with a high-powered panel of prominent national and local sports journalists."

Franklin, who was also the top editor at the Indianapolis Star and the Orlando Sentinel, has also served as sports editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Under Franklin's leadership, the new center will prepare the next generation of professional sports journalists for a world with a rapidly shifting media landscape, serve as a national resource for the training and continuing education of working professional sports journalists, and provide a forum for discussion on the major issues facing sports and sports media, said Brad Hamm, dean of the IU School of Journalism.

To reach these goals, the center will offer courses in sports journalism, a speaker series and a Web site. Hamm said the center will develop partnerships with media companies, sports franchises, leagues and governing bodies and professional organizations within Indiana and across the country. Indianapolis, the amateur sports capital of the world -- and home to numerous sports events and organizations -- is the ideal location for the new center, Hamm said.