5 Takeaways from NBC Sports Northwest’s Ashley Young and Lindsey Wisniewski

UO AWSM wrapped up its events for the 2018-2019 school year last week by hosting Ashley Young and Lindsey Wisniewski from NBC Sports Northwest. Here are our chapter’s five takeaways from the event:

1.”Know your SH!T” When looking to impress editors, hiring managers or even sources, always do some research ahead of time. Come over-prepared, have more to talk about that not enough. Ashley stressed always knowing you who are talking to and who you want to be talking to and why. Impress people by being able to talk about more than what’s on their LinkedIn bios.

The first lesson [of the] journalism field is to know who you want to work with and why. It’s important to know who you want to work with and who you want to work for.”

2. Understand that every path is different and that is OK. After sharing their personal journeys and their path to their current roles at NBC Sports Northwest, both Lindsey and Ashley expressed how everyone gets to where they are supposed to be on their own time through their own obstacles. Very rarely are you going to find people who “jumped” right into their careers after school. Rejections are a reality, take them and learn from them.

3. Be unapologetically you.  The more you make your true personality known, the more people can relate to and get to know the real you. By using your own voice in how you write, how you tweet and how you report, your work becomes stronger and you become more confident. This is something that Ashley said she has become more comfortable with through working in sports media.

“This field has really allowed me to find my voice. As you get further into this career, be confident on yourself. When you find your confidence, you find your voice. It has allowed me to be this fun, crazy person.”

4. Be able and open to do a little bit of everything. Lindsey and Ashley do everything from working cameras and digital platforms to writing stories on deadline. They said this versatility has allowed them to create content that can reach multitudes of audiences and makes them more valuable as an employee as well.

5. Create for what you would want. Both women said when creating content they always try to imagine what they would want if they were the ones reading and watching their clips. Include more than just the basic information; go the extra mile and create something that you would actually enjoy as a consumer. This makes you more passionate about the work you do.

Here  is a list of advice that both Ashley and Lindsey believe makes a great journalist:


Five takeaways from AWSM’s Soccer Night

By: Ruby Quintero-Walton and Maggie Vanoni

UO AWSM hosted Soccer Night on Feb. 6. We were fortunate to host Therese Bottomly (Oregon soccer alum and Editor and Vice President of Content at The Oregonian), Kat Mertz (Oregon soccer head coach) and Kayla Knapp (Content and Strategy for the Portland Timbers and Thorns). Through the experiences of each woman, we learned about how media coverage of women’s soccer has changed throughout the years and this has impacted teams, players, coaches and the journalists who cover the sport. Here are our five takeaways:

1. There are non-controllable barriers that prevent equal representation between men and women sports, specifically with soccer. Kayla and Therese talked about how most team sponsors put most of their time and money into promoting men’s sports. With her role at the Oregonian, Therese mentioned that during times of newsroom shrinkage, publications have to keep their story priorities on the stories they know are going to get the most clicks. And often times, the stories about men sports get more readership.

We try really hard to do equal amounts of coverage across the board. We‘re always trying to be cognizant of each side. But there are barriers that exist that don’t allow it to happen.” –Kayla Knapp

“When newsrooms shrink, then you have to make choices and decide what’s going to get covered less. You don’t want to cover things that people aren’t going to read. It’s a struggle.” –Therese Bottomly

2.As a reporter, show you care. Kat emphasized that she would like to see more reporters show that they care about the team and its players during coverage. She said, as a coach, she can tell when a reporter is just on assignment and trying to make a deadline vs a reporter who has done their homework and wants to learn.

“Care. Invest. You can tell when the reporter is doing an assignment because they’ve been told they need to cover women’s soccer. You can tell when someone is invested. I think it’s important to be in it. I think investing and showing that you want to know more about it would be helpful.” –Kat Mertz

3. Be confident and always stand up for yourself. Kayla emphasized that even just pretending to be confident, allows one to feel more confident. This goes a long way in how you carry yourself and how others see you, and how they will treat you.

“I’ve never felt more respected [as a woman] at a job [than I do now]. I’ve found that standing up for myself, being confident and being strong goes a long way to get people to take me seriously [in this industry].” –Kayla Knapp

4. Your social media presence is an important part of who you are and how you’ll get a job. Be aware of your posts and your audiences. All three women expressed making sure your social media channels are clean and professional because you never know who can see something. They suggested that if you want to have a platform to express yourself more loosely, to create private accounts and make it clear that it’s not a professional account.

“I have my own personal presence [on social media] and I’ve changed a lot. I can say whatever I want and I’m thankful that my organization is cool with that. But I try to preserve my relationship within the team. I think it’s important to be your authentic self but also [think about my posts when] it comes to my job. I try to be even keel. You pick and choose and be smart about what you’re putting out there, but you still need to be authentic.” –Kayla Knapp

“I think there’s a line of being authentic and understanding what my base is. And I want to be true to who I am. I won’t go off on certain politicians or teams. Nothing is private, and I’ve been more aware about what I post [on social media].” –Kat Mertz

“You do have to change [your social media]. If you’re representing something, you have to look at your social media and look at your bias. What we want them to do is recognize that what they do on social media, that is how the public is going to perceive them.” –Therese Bottomly

5. Journalists have a responsibility to treat men and women equally. We are a team.  People are beginning to call journalists on their gender bias and how that affects the public treatment of someone. The way you treat a male you’re interviewing should be the same for a female. This respect is also important in the media workplace as well.

Five Pieces of Advice from meeting with AP’s Anne Peterson

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.