Finding great writers

by

Last night, I hung out with a former co-worker for a few hours. We started off just talking about sports and different things going on at Murray State, but as we continued to talk we began to reminisce about last year. I don’t think you could’ve found a college newspaper with a closer, crazier, more outgoing sports section. We were all best friends, brothers and sisters. Now, last year’s editor has graduated and moved back to Ohio, our assistant sports editor has been deployed overseas with the U. S. Air Force and another writer is now employed by the athletic department as the radio voice for women’s basketball. This left me with two writers with whom I was close. And although, we could manage the section, I think it’s important for all those who are interested in journalism to be given a chance.

As of now, I have two contributors. One has great potential, the other, I’m not too impressed. As sports editors, we are in charge of our writers. It is our job to teach them what needs to be taught and help them in whatever way we can. Sometimes, however, our jobs can be extremely stressful. But one thing that has really helped me is that I’m only a sophomore. I look at my new writers, both who are older than me and think ‘I was as clueless this time last year as they are now.’ We have to be patient and remember that although the love of journalism is a gift, there’s also a technique to it which is acquired over time.

I got discouraged at the beginning of the year when applications were pouring into the news and features desks and I had nothing. But there are SO many people who would love the opportunity to write sports and meet the coaches and athletes that can’t imagine a seat in press row could have their name it. It’s so important to reach out to students of all ages, especially those interested in journalism. Many people don’t know how much fun being a sports reporter can be. If you want great writers, you have to take them under your wing, show them the fun and teach them what they need to know.

I want to show my staff the fun and excitement I experienced with last year’s staff. If your writers are comfortable with you and with their coworkers, they will be develop as better reporters and be less intimidated the first time they walk up to the head basketball coach or the big defensive end to get quotes for a story.

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