Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Salters: Let stories touch you, so you can touch others

On Tuesday, the first item on the agenda was a sports check, of course. But shortly afterwards, ESPN’s Lisa Salters called in to speak with us. I met Lisa last year during a Monday Night Football game in Nashville, so I was thrilled to hear from one of the best professionals in the industry.
She talked about her work not just on MNF as well as E:60, including the story of Nevest Coleman, a groundskeeper with the Chicago White Sox, who was released from prison after serving more than 20 years for crimes that DNA evidence eventually showed he did not commit. Salters told us that we must be relentless in digging for vital pieces of information to improve our work, regardless of what platform that work is for. With my background being in print journalism, Salters was the perfect person to ask on how to gain more on-camera experience. “News is news,” Salters said. “If you can write, you can do anything in this business. If you break a story for your organization, they are most likely going to ask you share the story on television as well, especially now.”
I’m going to use the advice she provided by writing quick scripts after each game of the NBA Finals, then recording a 30-second hit, as if I was going on-air. Practice makes perfect!
One more piece of advice from Salters also hit home for me, because I applied for SJI in large part because I knew it could improve my storytelling ability. “When you allow stories to touch you, that’s when your stories touch others,” she said.
–Michael Curtis