Yesterday, I interviewed a kid (I'm old enough to call 21-year-olds kids, right?) at the journalism school about a couple segments he did with ESPNU when they were here last week to broadcast some Wolf Pack basketball games. His dream job is to work at ESPN, and he was so excited to have had this opportunity. He didn't have to say it (although he did) because you could see the excitement in his face. And the passion. They guy loves sports, and he loves his chosen career field. He told me about how the opportunity came up, about how he talked over some ideas with one of his teachers, who told him to think outside the box. He told me that of course any fan can watch a game, but he loves writing about sports because he can give the fans "a different perspective, an insider's look."
It was a good reminder. It took me back to the summer of 2003. I was a sports-writing intern at the Monterey County Herald working on my first front-page story. The story came together nicely, but I was struggling with the lede. The sports editor told me I needed to get out of the office. It was a great piece of advice that I remember still. We went for a walk. We tossed ideas back and forth until we landed on one we both liked. I went back inside and wrote the lede. And the next morning I saw my name on the front page of the newspaper for the first time. What a great feeling that was.
In the daily grind I think I sometimes I forget what a blessing this job is. How cool it is that people let us into their lives, and let us share their stories with the world. I'm glad I talked to that kid yesterday, to remind me of that excitement and that passion. To remind me that even in these challenging times for journalism why I want to stay in this business.
4 weeks ago