It’s easy for people to be typecast. This week, my classmates and I are learning about how to be better sports journalists, but we are all so much more than that. We don’t have to “stick to sports” — in regards to what we choose to speak up for (and against) or what we choose to pursue professionally.
I love sports, but I also love music and fashion, advocacy journalism and interesting stories. I enjoy writing. Just as LeBron James is not merely a basketball player, I am not merely ‘the sports girl.’
So I found our Tuesday conversations with SJI alumni Nick Creegan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs very affirming. I learned from Kanno-Youngs, who now covers the White House for The New York Times, that journalism is journalism, and writing is writing. It’s all storytelling, whether it’s covering the U.S. government or the franchise with a meddling owner and internal drama. Creegan, who left journalism to pursue acting, reminded me that it’s okay to chase your passions, no matter how numerous they may be. “You don’t necessarily have to be in this cookie cutter frame,” he said. “You can kind of create your own niche.”
Not sticking to sports makes for better sports journalism. As I continue to grow and learn, I will remember Kanno-Young’s advice to find something going on out in the world and apply it to sports. I feel confident that adopting a versatile mindset will not only make me well-equipped to cover anything, it will make for a more fulfilling life and career.