Getting your journalistic feet wet in college — nothing beats experience

As I volunteer at yet another Big Ten Basketball Tournament, I’m reminded of how perfect of time college is for students to learn the fundamentals of being a reporter or broadcaster, and gain valuable real-life experience.

In my experience, I learned more — way more, actually — from practical experience and internships than I ever did in the classroom. College was about growing personally and molding yourself into the person you are for the rest of your life. In the classroom you learn things, only to forget about most of the information after a test, where you fill silly bubbles.

Tests are obviously called for to hold specific jobs, like with being a doctor, dentist, or lawyer. But I’m none of that. I’m in the sports business, where what you can do and who you know matters most.

Did I mention this would be your view for the games?

As I assist Bill Benner, a longtime Indianapolis media member who now works with the Pacers public relations office, with the postgame press conferences after each women’s game, I think of all the students missing out on a great experience. With some, their lack of attendance is because of money. A student driving from Nebraska in the middle of the week is difficult, and not cheap.

During these postgame media availabilities are ideal opportunities for students to ask questions of a coach who sat on a podium, and then go into their locker room to investigate further.

That’s what I do after every Pacers game I cover. Pose questions and report from the postgame presser, then hit the locker room before crafting my story.

In that room, there sat just a few media members — more after Indiana played, for obvious reasons. One time, there was none so a school’s play-by-play man asked a few questions to the senior women before tossing a couple more towards coach. That could’ve been any student, who spent the time and effort covering a team during the year, applied for a credential and made the trip to Indianapolis, an affordable site for the tournament.

Maybe part of the problem is lack of understanding what one should do in college, or at least go about getting involved. In most cases, there’s the school paper, radio station, and a journalism site at the school.

Find what you’re passionate about, get involved, cover a team and make the extra effort to cover said team on the road, particularly at tournament time. That’s where you also need to network your butt off. It’ll set you back a couple hundred bucks (though some organizations will cover the costs), but believe, it’s worth it.

Because nothing beats real-life experiences.

One Response to Getting your journalistic feet wet in college — nothing beats experience
  1. Air-Jordan-13
    December 3, 2014 | 8:58 am

    Air-Jordan-13…

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