Stef Loh – Why Access is the Key to Success in Sports Writing

By Emma Childs

We had the lovely opportunity of getting a visit from University of Oregon SOJC alumna Stef Loh. Loh is in transitioning from sports reporter covering the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington State Cougars for the Seattle Times to the assistant sports editor!

Here are our five takeaways from her visit last week:

  1. Access is key! Build relationships with athletes families and friends, be trusted and you will be able to get good stories.
  2. “Don’t be picky once you graduate. Cast a wide net and prove that you can do the job, even if it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
  3. You should feel supported in a newsroom. Loh speaks from experience and worked in a place where she wasn’t completely supported. She hopes that future journalists are keen to those situations.
  4. Use “creative Googling” to your advantage. You can find out almost anything you need for a story.
  5. Take time if you are crafting a story. On her experience writing Tyler Hilinski’s story, “We wanted to do it right, not do it fast.”

Sarah Lorge Butler Visits #UOAWSM

We had the lovely opportunity to host Sarah Lorge Butler for our week seven AWSM meeting. Butler is a writer for and covered the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Some of our executive board members also sat down with Butler to record a podcast. Check it out here:

Five Takeaways from Sarah:

1 — If you have a passion of covering sports. Do it. Nothing is stopping you. Don’t stop yourself from following and pursuing that passion.

2 — “You don’t need to be Lebron James to write about basketball.” Butler reiterates that you do not need to have played professionally or competed in a sport to cover it. You can still be a good journalist even if you have never experienced that sport personally.

3 — Freelance journalism can be hard, but it’s really rewarding. Be dependable and produce interesting content, and you’ll find success.

4 — “We have seen this year the need for journalism, especially local journalism.”

5 — The whole journalism world is so upside down right now—students could consider producing sponsored content. That’s where she got her start!

Five Tips From Boston Celtics Reporter Amanda Pflugrad

 University of Oregon alumnus, Amanda Pflugrad Skyped in with our chapter last week from the East Coast! Pflugrad spent her undergraduate years in the School of Journalism and Communications and as a cheerleader for the Ducks. She now is a Sports Reporter/Host for the Boston Celtics. 

Here are a few takeaways from our event with Amanda:

1) Everyone has their own career journey and path that they take. Just try and find your own way. Their isn’t one linear path, dream big!

2) One of the best things out of her job and this industry is the relationships and connections she makes! Her advice is to value the relationships you make and use them for your broadcast and your career!

3) Your willingness to learn will get you far! Pflugrad emphasized that being flexible and able to work with people will make you more appealing to hire.

4) It’s OK to be uncertain and scared of the future, continue to try and figure things out—that’s the best you can do!

5) Use your resources! Everyone around you is often willing to help if you ask, both your professors and professionals in the sports media industry.


Five Bits of Wisdom from meeting with Pac-12 Football Analyst Yogi Roth

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 Jen Beyrle

Great meeting today with the Oregonian’s Jen Beyrle! #uoawsm

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Last Thursday, sports video reporter for The Oregonian, Jen Beyrle visited the UO AWSM Chapter. She sat down with our group and discussed her career and the path she got there and then answered questions from meeting attendees. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the meeting:


  1. Everyone has a different path to having the career they want or they want or their dream job, their is no right or wrong way.
  2. The more you can do the better, employers value someone who can has multiple skills and abilities in the sports media industry.
  3. Be patient. If you work hard, things will come to you.
  4. “You are going to make mistakes, it’s going to happen. “But learning from them is very important.”
  5. The best interviews are when it’s like a conversation, make sure you are prepared and have done your research. But the more like a conversation it is, the better.

Five Pieces of Advice from Annelle Despaignes of Fox Sports

  1. Be prepared. A person should know more about the company and the job they are interviewing for, than the person interviewing you does. Do your research.
  2. Don’t get discouraged if your career is not going the way you want it to. Work hard and always keep trying.
  3. Take jobs under your degree! So even if you feel you can do better, take it, but don’t settle for it.
  4. Be mentors to younger people. Always offer advice and career knowledge.
  5. Enjoy your life as much as possible. When you are young time is limited, so do as much as you can….go backpacking, travel!