Howard Hewitt – It’s not often unexpected opportunities just pop up during the summer months for our students. But in late May I learned the Indiana Collegiate Press Association was looking for student journalists interested in attending one or two seminars designed for professional journalists.
The extra spots were available so the sponsoring institution decided to provide full-cost scholarship to college students. Bachelor staffer Scott Morrison jumped at the chance.
Scott Morrison ‘14 – This past weekend I travelled to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the Mid-America Press Institute’s workshop titled, “Sports Journalism: Staying on Top in the Digital Age.” I learned about this event from Bachelor Advisor Howard Hewitt a few weeks ago and was immediately excited to attend this conference of professional sportswriters and other students from throughout the Midwest. My time in St. Louis did not disappoint. The weekend provided instruction that will help me as I continue my work for The Bachelor as well as pursue my future career path.
The event started on Sunday afternoon with a Cardinals game which went 15 innings and the Red Birds unfortunately lost. The marathon game was followed by a keynote speech by Rick Hummel, MLB Hall of Fame sports writer. He relayed many great stories about the trials and fun of covering the St. Louis Cardinals for 30 years and provided insight on how much the field of sports writing has changed since he began his career. Oh yeah, in between the game and the talk I had some great barbeque at Joe Buck’s Restaurant two blocks from Busch Stadium (someday I will have to try Kansas City barbeque to judge which city has the edge). But anyway, it was great to be surrounded by other students as well as professionals who shared the love of sports that I have. We talked about everything from the BCS system to concussions in the NFL to how clutch Lebron James is. By the end of Sunday I was ready to put the sports aside (that was a first!) and get some sleep before a full Monday.
Monday morning we gathered for the day’s sessions which were each about an hour long and focused on handling sources, covering a beat, and writing the big story. Much of the focus in each session was on balancing Twitter, blogs, real-time updates, and writing a story with video and pictures all for one game. It was great to learn how professionals learned to handle interviews and develop their own coverage techniques. This was an opportunity for me to see some concrete instruction on what covering sports is like outside of Wabash and the kinds of skills that I need to develop in order to be successful. I can take away from this experience that being a sports journalist is a 24/7 job that is far from easy but is also full of awesome experiences and interactions with players and coaches from around the world. After sitting in a room with professionals and journalism students from Indiana University, Northwestern, Murray State, and Western and Eastern Illinois, I have decided that my liberal arts education from Wabash will serve me well in my career.