From football to Facebook: a look inside sports journalism

Ike Bryant, Dani Lubezki, Abby Murphy, Natalie Wu and Jude Herwitz (left to right) visit Ryan Fieldhouse during the Inside NU athletics workshop. Photo by Eli Karp

The Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute gives cherubs an overview of every topic related to journalism, including reporting, writing, ethics and video. But the program also affords opportunities to students who would like to take a deeper look into a certain area of the field where they believe they could potentially work one day.

For sports fans, several of those opportunities came during the fourth week of the program, when various guest speakers visited to discuss the life of a sports journalist or broadcaster.

Miami Marlins broadcaster and former cherub Glenn Geffner discussed his life as a major league baseball announcer. (Note: You can rack up a lot of hotel reward points.) He said that although a baseball game may last only a few hours, he spends almost twice that amount of time preparing for each game.

Professor J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Medill, described how the sports journalism industry has changed. He discussed the rise of certain forms of media, such as game streaming and social media gaming, as well as the traditional TV sports industry. Adande also spoke about how professional athletics are slowly changing — with esports in particular emerging as a legitimate market contender to traditional sports.

Some cherubs also had the opportunity to tour Northwestern’s new $270 million Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center.

Dani Lubezki of Santa Monica, California, said the immersive experience let her explore sports journalism outside of the lectures.

“It was cool to take another day to dive into that stuff,” she said. “I know not too many people here plan on going into sports media, but it’s definitely something I’ve considered. It’s great that they allowed some of us to learn even more about it.”

Ike Bryant of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said seeing Northwestern’s sports media facilities helped him get a better feel for the details and work that goes into a strong relationship between athletes and journalists.

“It was a great experience all around, but one specific thing I really loved about the trip was being able to go behind the scenes and see what the media and communications go through,” Bryant said. “I learned about the process the media and athletes use to communicate with another. It’s not always a one-way relationship, just for the journalists. [Athletes and media members] need each other. It was cool to see the balance between the two.”