June 14, 2020

Journalism is more than just a keyboard

Kamryn Walker

Being in the presence of professionals who have experienced what I yet have is honestly inspiring. I came upon many realizations from the conversation with David Aldridge, Nicole Auerbach, Kendra Andrews, and Marcus Thompson from The Athletic. “The more versatile you are, the more chances you’ll get to improve at your work and learn … Become really good at the art of reporting and listening—everything else comes from that,” Aldridge said. “Michael Jordan wasn’t great because he could jump; he was great because of the fundamentals.” A reporter cannot be successful without having the skills of writing, listening, interviewing, editing, and so forth. This advice reminds me to keep working hard to be a well-rounded journalist. A really good reporter cares about the quality of the work and never thinks that it is ever good enough, which I have the same experiences. Nine out of ten times, I complete a story. I believe that it is mediocre, and I could fix a million things. My work will never be perfect or up to the level that makes me happy. However, other people could think that it is a “home-run,” a term that The Athletic uses when a story is a “holy” smoke story. Aldridge really opened my eyes when he said sports journalism is like a funnel; the jobs that everyone wants at the places like ESPN are at the bottom of the funnel, very selective.

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