Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Old school advice from Wilbon

If there was one thing I learned from Michael Wilbon’s colorful conversation with our class on Friday was that it is okay to take the time to soak in a moment without feeling the need to document it.

Wilbon was so adamant about the idea that we — the millennial generation — needed to stop looking down at our phone. He said he wants our generation to talk and look people in the eye. Now more than ever, we live at a time where we hide behind a screen and don’t interact with each other.

Just last time at dinner, I had to explain to some of my classmates that sometimes when I’m back at school at Texas A&M, my friends and I (sometimes, even though we should do it a lot more) stack our phones in the middle of the table and the first one to reach for their phone pays for dinner.

I will admit, I am guilty of being stuck to my phone, just ask my mom when I’m at home. It’s so easy to get caught up of always being connected, whether it’s maintaining a snap streak, talking in the group message or just seeing what someone posted on Instagram, especially when you are a journalist.

But thanks to Wilbon, I know that being glued to my phone isn’t the most important thing in the world. So, this upcoming season when I’m in the thick of covering football at A&M, there will be times when I will stop typing, stop recording and just listen.

Listen to the crowd yelling, listen the reporters on the sideline or listen to what the players are saying to one another on the field. There will be no recorder, no video, no notebook.

“Don’t use too many quotes — find out what people know,” Wilbon said.

I am in a unique position to not only attend A&M, but to be standing on Kyle Field while 60,000 of my classmates would give anything to be in my position.

— Angel Franco