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.