Like the Miami Heat, at the Miami Herald we’ve been honing our own playbook with every championship run — and this year, speed is the mantra. Our team of reporters, columnists, photographers and videographers take you wherever they go, from play-by-play on Twitter to the post-game locker room with video.
Beat writers Joseph Goodman and Barry Jackson are on top of all the story lines — whether it is a key injury, a change in the lineup, or some outrageous behavior on the court — such as the Pacers’ Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron James’ ear or Udonis Haslem’s less than decorous response during the Eastern Conference finals.
Breaking developments are tweeted, blogged, broadcast and promoted on social media so Heat fanatics can follow closely.
If you follow Goodman on Twitter — and if you are a Heat fan, you should @JoeGoodmanJr — you knew the minute LeBron James had leg cramps in the first game of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Or this insider’s tweet on the air-conditioning failure: “Before Shane Battier checked into the fourth quarter he leaned over press row and said, ‘It’s like Cameron. I feel right at home.’ ”
Insightful columns by Greg Cote, Dan LeBatard and Linda Robertson add timely perspective to the latest developments.
And thousands of fans are watching must-see footage produced during the playoffs by Herald staffers Al Diaz, Charles Trainor Jr. and freelance videographer Justin Azpiazu.
“It expands the coverage beyond the court and into the backside of the arena where the post-game hustle goes into high gear,” Trainor said.
First, a pre-game video with Goodman is posted two hours before tipoff, offering analysis, statistics that could influence the game or changes to the opening lineup.
During the game, Diaz and Trainor rotate quarters, filing photos for online and print and tweeting images as the game is in play.
And when the game wraps up, Azpiazu shoots quick interviews with players in the locker room, and that video is posted on www.miamiherald.com within minutes.
After the game, while one photographer transmits photos to the newsroom for the morning paper, the other covers the press conference with coaches and key players. They use their iPhones to produce a series of quick interviews with coaches and key players that are posted online within minutes.
We then produce a deeper dissection of the game in video by Goodman and Jackson.
Behind the scenes, sports editor Jorge Rojas and assistant sports editor John Devine, who have directed coverage of all the Heat’s championships, are managing the details and assigning stories, photos and videos for daily coverage and special touches, including the popular player posters.
“Each year, we learn something new,” Rojas said. “This year, it’s been about producing more content in a timely manner and promoting to our work. By adding preview material, blogging and tweeting in real time, and using social media, we are reaching our Heat audience early and often on game days.”