By: Maggie Vanoni
AP reporter Anne Peterson spoke at the UO AWSM chapter Monday night about her experience covering sports all around the country, including the state of Oregon, to even her time covering the Olympics as well.
1. Network, network, network … Peterson emphasized the importance of reaching out to the people you find inspirational and getting a foot in the door. She believes that keeping in contact with coworkers and friends will help expose you to numerous opportunities.
2. You will have to do things you don’t want to in order to get where you want to go … Peterson started her career at AP doing the tasks that no one else wanted to, like manually entering lottery ticket numbers to doing the weather forecast. “You have to be willing to do anything,” Peterson said. “Don’t expect to cover the NBA right out of college.” Peterson said that she always worked hard no matter what she did, and her employers knew that and took it into consideration when opportunities opened up.
3. Background research … Come prepared to your reporting assignment with the homework done. Peterson stressed that during major events, like the Olympics, she has binders of background research on both teams and knows specific details about players as to be ready for any coverage.
4. Write Beforehand … Constantly working with tight deadlines, Peterson said her biggest help is writing paragraphs before she gets to the event. With her immense amount of prior background research, she crafts out sections of her gamers beforehand, always making sure to leave room for intro-paragraphs — something that she will focus on during the game.
5. Capture a moment and make that your lede … “Half the battle when writing is to try to capture a moment,” Peterson said. Peterson likes to lead her stories by capturing the game moment. Using last week’s Blazer game as an example, Peterson chose to lead her story of the game with Damian Lillard pointing at his wrist after he walked away from making a three-point shot with 0.7 seconds left, which ultimately clenched the win for Portland.
Five Bits of Wisdom from meeting with Pac-12 Football Analyst Yogi Roth
By Emma Childs
Pac-12 Network football analyst, author and filmmaker Yogi Roth met with the UO AWSM chapter last Friday. Roth brought his knowledge as a former wide receiver for the University of of Pittsburgh, a former assistant quarterback coach for the University of Southern California and now a broadcaster.
1- “You write like you read, you talk like you write. …Read!” Yogi Roth emphasized the importance of reading novels and consuming news articles every day. He threw some books into the students sitting in the classroom and said, “I always like to give gifts. These gifts are important.” He pointed out that people who read often always are one step above those who don’t in the broadcast industry, he said it is what can make you stand out.
2- He encouraged attendees to try new things. He is all about “reigniting your creative spark.” For Roth, sometimes it’s taking off to a foreign country and spending a week taking photos, or trying to write a novel. His ability to work hard and understand others has come from broadening his skill sets and helped him become successful.
3- How and why? And then listen. It’s always about the people, the people you are interviewing and telling the story about. Your ability to listen as a journalist is a key skill in connecting with people. You want to work on building elements that enable you to connect with people.
4- Form versus essence. He says to follow your curiosity because … “there is no cookie cutter way to do it.” Roth said that everyone has their own path or way of getting where they want to go in their careers and there is not one mold or form in this industry.
5- “Your only job is to seek.” Roth believes that his only job is to create value, value of the game of football for the families, the audiences, the random spectators. He encouraged attendees to seek value out of everything they do.
Five Takeaways from Meeting with Lewis Johnson
By Jaycie Schenone
Yesterday, Lewis Johnson a sideline reporter for Pac-12 Network, NBA on TNT, and NBC visited the UO AWSM Chapter. Johnson shared his journey from a walk-on track athlete at the University of Cincinnati to a nine-time consecutive NBC correspondent at the Olympics. Some key takeaways from the meeting:
- Making connections makes you a better journalist. The people you cover, whether athletes or not, have a story to share. In order for them to trust you with their story, you need to make authentic relationships.
- If you’re in this industry for the right reasons, it will reward you. There will inevitably be hard times but as long as you follow your path, work hard, and be persistent good things will happen.
- Are you in control of your technology or is your technology in control of you? Social media isn’t going to get you a job but human interactions will. Look people in the eye when they are speaking with you and give them a firm hand shake. First impressions matter.
- As a journalist, it’s important to know when to be quiet. The story isn’t about you, it’s about your subject. When an incredible moment arises let it speak for itself. Ask simple questions that will spark the subject.
- Explore the world. Meet people with a different background than yourself.