By Daniel Levitt
Sports data often gets overlooked as a source of investigative stories. But Steve Doig of Arizona State University and Paula Lavigne of ESPN showed journalists that we can – and should – hold sports organizations accountable.
Both Doig and Lavigne entered the sports journalism world from other beats. Doig covered science, education and politics for more than 19 years at the Miami Herald. Lavigne was a reporter on multiple beats at the Dallas Morning News and Des Moines Register before coming to ESPN.
Throughout their careers, data was a staple to their investigative stories.
Doig now teaches all he has learned to students on the newly-created sports journalism track at ASU. Lavigne is a full-time sports watchdog, keeping some of the largest sports teams in the country in line. Both shared their data sources with conference attendees.
Doig separated his main sources into three categories: official, unofficial and academics. The leagues – the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. – are the official sources. Unofficial sources include ESPN, FiveThirtyEight and Sports Reference. Doig also shared a list of academics, or “obsessed fans” that keep fountains of data:
Lavigne also showcased her sources:
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