It’s not the best paying job — far from it, depending on your market — but the perks and experience help fill the void.
Although they cannot help fill in the inadequate income and pay the bills every month, the perks and experience from journalism can lead to bigger things. The ambition, drive and dedication are needed in delivering breaking news or telling a story of a local athlete. Your audience must be able to connect with your storytelling ability and remain engaged to the very last word.
It doesn’t matter where it begins, whether you’re shooting sports photos for the high school yearbook or learning about a lead for the first time in college, the road to a successful journalism career depends on how much effort you’re willing to put in.
Chris Singleton, who played football and baseball at Nevada in the 1990s, wanted to pursue a journalism degree when he arrived on campus, and public relations caught his eye. He vividly remembered processing film in the dark room.
Singleton spoke in front of hundreds of supporters at last week’s annual Nevada baseball fundraiser. He had a knack for the field, even though he didn’t complete his degree when he left after his third year to play in the Major Leagues.
His short playing career gave him enough exposure to the game that when he hung up his cleats for the last time, he knew where his next stop would be. Back in the journalism field, Singleton joined the broadcast crew for the White Sox before picking up a gig with ESPN and Baseball Tonight. Serving as an analyst for the network, including the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, Singleton has seen his journalism roots turn this second career into a staple in the baseball media.
Sports journalism is competitive like athletes decking it out every night. The pay only gets better with experience and moving up in the chain from covering youth to college and eventually the pros on a full-time basis. It gets tougher with every step and it’s not for everyone. Make no mistake, though, it’s one of the most entertaining professions.
You have the best seat in the house, whether it’s in the press box or on the sideline. You meet fun-loving, engaging and interesting people and get to tell their story. You live through the players and coaches in both the good and bad moments. And when it comes down to the final game, the championship, you’re a part of history as much as the team you’re covering.
What Singleton has been able to accomplish after his professional career is both a testament to the University of Nevada, Reno’s journalism school and his desire to pursue another career as competitive as the sport he just played. It’s a rewarding and sometimes humbling experience that the majority does not experience.
You’re not in this for only the money. No, you’re in this because you have a desire to tell a story that needs to resonate with your audience in such a fashion that it makes the athlete, team or coach as important as those who win the Super Bowl.
Everyone deserves to have their story told.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at email@example.com.