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Use Technology to Tell Stories, ESPN Analyst Tells Student Journalists

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

(Sept. 17, 2009) – ESPN sports analyst and talk show host Michael Wilbon urged aspiring sports journalists to embrace the art of storytelling, but to also take advantage of new media in telling those stories.

“We are storytellers. That’s what we do and the art of storytelling will never go out of style,” Wilbon said during the “Power and Influence from the Sidelines: Is Sports Journalism for You?” panel discussion in Sale Hall’s Chapel of the Inward Journey. “But you now have more tools to tell those stories than we ever had. It ought to be easier.”

Wilbon was one of six panelists who talked about their careers in sports journalism. The others were: WXIA-TV sports anchor Sam Crenshaw; Morehouse sports information director Yusuf Davis; 790 The Zone radio show host Ryan Stewart; Atlanta Hawks public relations director Arthur Triche and veteran sports television host Nicole Watson.

Presented by Ron Thomas, director of the Morehouse Journalism and Sports Program, and the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Student Consortium, the discussion was far-ranging, going from the importance of good writing to the sometimes non-glamorous side of the field, such as the long travel and stress of deadlines.

But most of the conversation centered on how students can prepare themselves to become sports journalists.

“The value of an internship is extremely high,” said Stewart, who is also a former NFL player. “Any internship you get, you’ve got to do your best because the people you’re working for – working free for – they know other people.”

Crenshaw added: “Think about what can make you unique. “A lot of people have the same objectives. They all want to be [on] ESPN. But be unique. Be things people don’t expect you to be.”


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