Awakening the Sports Journalist Inside of Me

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

I entered my Journalism 24/7 class last Thursday to find out that we had a guest speaker by the name of Jon Pessah. I soon found out that he was a sports journalist, which perked my interest to a level of excitement I haven’t felt in school for a long time. I began my journey at Stony Brook University to become a journalist with the hopes of focusing on sports, for it is a passion I can’t compare to many other things in my life. When I began the program I was surprised at how many facets of journalism there was to learn about and experience. It all was so new and interesting to me and I realized there was so much out there that is more meaningful than sports. Up until this afternoon in class I have not been exposed to anything having to do with sports journalism, but my original dream came roaring back as I sat in my seat and learned about Mr. Pessah’s experiences in the field I feel will make me content in my occupational choice.

Talking about ESPN and WFAN made me feel right at home. When I am relaxing on my couch I’d have to say that one of the ESPN channels are on my television about 75% of the time. If not ESPN, it’s another sports network such as YES, SNY, the NFL or MLB network. There is also the occasional HBO series that occupies my lazy hours when sports are not overpowering my Proscan HDTV. If I am driving to work or school I am catching up on the opinions of fellow sports fans or analysts on the FAN. When they go to commercial I switch to ESPN radio. So, one could definitely refer to me as a sports fanatic. The outcome of my Jets or Mets can absolutely affect my mood as anybody that knows me can attest to.

Learning about the changes that sports journalism has gone through was very important to my knowledge of what I can look forward to in my quest to becoming apart of the sports world. It was unfortunate to learn about the lack of hard news stories still done in the genre due to the entertainment pressures created by ESPN. All my journalistic experience thus far has been centered around finding and reporting on hard news and focused on being as objective as possible. Sports, however, is almost completely centered around subjectivity. Analysts, reporters and beat writers evaluate the performances of players and coaches in the games that have taken place. Then, they will evaluate how those performances will reflect in future games. A large part of this is opinion based. A major part of my personality is how strong my opinions are. Combining my love for sports and need to share my opinions in sports writing can allow me to portray who I am and how I feel in a productive and rewarding outlet. Pessah stated that the challenge of sports journalism today is being able to entertain and write together. I feel that I have the ability to entertain with my better-than-average sense of humor and passionate writing skills. Being a former English major has allowed me to fine tune my writing abilities for several years prior to my journalistic training.

Ultimately I have appreciated and respected the education I have received outside of the the sports journalism realm, but I am eager to progress towards a focus in sports. Despite a decline in print media, sports fans are so passionate their desires to read and watch news about their favorite teams are as strong as ever. In my opinion, sports journalism is not a dying occupation and can hardly wait to enter the field and change along with it or possibly even help be a cause for change.

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