June 4, 2020

Coronavirus impacts student journalism

Andy Yamashita

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to slow down the entire nation, it’s clear that things have changed a lot for all of us. Most notably, instead of being at the Arizona State Cronkite School for the Sports Journalism Institute’s Class of 2020, we’re doing the program virtually from our homes. However, for me personally one of the biggest ways coronavirus has impacted my life has been my transition to the position of sports editor at the University of Washington’s student newspaper. Spring quarter is normally when our younger writers get a chance to really practice their skills on smaller beats like track and field, rowing, and tennis. Additionally, this was supposed to be my first full quarter as sports editor after serving as the assistant during the winter. Instead, we don’t have any sports to cover in person, and after losing four of our senior writers, the section is composed of mostly freshmen who have little experience, and have often never even met the athletes they are writing features about. Navigating this challenging time, while also helping mentor younger reporters has made this time very stressful, even though I have fewer articles in terms of quantity to edit. The pandemic has also made it harder for myself to personally create time for myself to write and write the features I want to find. All things considered, these are smaller problems than many others are dealing with at this time, and I count myself lucky that these are some of my main concerns. However, especially as people begin considering the far-reaching impacts of this global pandemic, this is one of the major obstacles it has created for me.

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