This semester, I enrolled in Nicole Kraft’s Sports Media class at The Ohio State University.
The first of its kind, I thought it would be a great way to get more experience and learn more about the field I intend to work in for the rest of my life.
I think the most important thing I learned this semester was feature writing.
I worked on a feature of one of the members of the Ohio State Softball team, Alex Bayne. Bayne is going into her senior season after leading the team in homeruns a year ago.
We spoke on the phone for about an hour as we talked about everything from her childhood to now, covering topics ranging from personal life to on-field issues.
Before this time, I had not really enjoyed feature writing. I am not the most open and outgoing person, so sometimes talking to people I do not know for a long time on a personal level can be a little stressful.
However, the interview when extremely well. Bayne was very kind and I was able to make the interview into more of a conversation rather than an interrogation. I think those kind of skills will allow me to get even better as time goes on at getting better answers from my subjects and being more comfortable doing interviews.
Another thing I throughly enjoyed about the class were the guests.
We had a lot of guests from multiple different occupations revolving around sports media and I thought it was really cool to have them discuss their experiences and their work with us. Having people like Dan Plesac, who I watch almost everyday during the summer on MLB Tonight, take the time out of his day to speak with us was a super cool experience.
I think you should definitely continue to have these kinds of guests in future semesters.
One thing I would do to change this class for the better in future semesters would be to change how the Perusall readings work.
A lot of the time I felt that the readings did not have much to do with what was going on with class, and sometimes took away from time that could be spent working on other stories or assignments going on at the time.
I liked when the Perusall readings directly impacted what we discussed in class. For example, our reading this week about the treatment of women in sports directly correlated with our in class discussion.
However, much of the time, the readings did not have much to do with the upcoming classes. Reading about the rules of football, lacrosse, hockey, etc. seemed to me to have not much to do with the class in all honesty.
I like having the readings because a lot of the time they accounted first-hand experiences and real-life happenings that provided insight into the world of sports journalism. I just feel that in the future, the readings should have direct correlation to that week’s class.
Overall, I really liked the class and I think it has definitely contributed to my knowledge of the sports media world. I think that taking the practicum (on a sports beat) side by side with this class also really helped me to better my writing.
It was a great semester!