Communication & Recognition

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I can’t stress how important communication and recognition are in any job, especially in journalism and sports journalism.

Not only do you need to know your newspaper adviser, Editor-in-Chief, other editors, photographers, ad sales representatives, copy editors and staff writers.

The best way to get to know your colleagues is to visit and spend time in the newsroom. Even if you aren’t in a leadership position, it’s important to be noticed. That’s one thing I learned last year.

I came in as a freshman and was hesitant and intimidated by the newsroom, but I learned quickly that although deadlines can be killer, my colleagues try to keep a laid back attitude. If I hadn’t have shown my face in the newsroom last year, I wouldn’t be the Sports Editor as a sophomore, working alongside seniors in other leadership roles.

Also, for us sports writers, we MUST know the coaches, athletes and SIDs. Coaches and athletes need to be comfortable talking with you and vice versa. You should feel confident approaching SIDs to obtain information and set up interviews. I realize things can be scary at first, but the truth is, SIDs can be your most dependable resource.

Coaches and athletes are usually eager to be interviewed and great to sit down with. I can’t lie, standing at a short 5’2″ and interviewing a basketball player who is just shy of seven feet can be strange, but it’s our job to get the story and it’s their job to play well and give us a story about which to write.

Assigning beats is a great way to allow for clear communication and easy recognition. If you’re working with the same team and same SID each week, things should run smoothly. Also, IDENTIFY YOURSELF!! The first time you speak with a coach, athlete or SID let them know who you are and what publication you represent. In my experience, more often than not, the person you’re talking with will start up a conversation. I’ve discussed journalism classes and music with a gifted football player and life in England compared to life in Kentucky with the soccer coach. There are always interesting stories to tell, and many of them don’t require digging. They just require simple conversation.

As the year gets underway, go to as many press conferences, meet-and-greet sessions, practices, anything where you can put a face to a name with coaches, athletes and SIDs and where they can do the same with you. Nothing will make your job easier than putting yourself out there for others to see.

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