Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

The chase for the original story

It’s easy to get discouraged by the state of journalism and news organizations’ focus on being like any other outlet. There seems to be little focus on original reporting for the topics we cover. It’s all about making sure we have the same story as the next reporter. This does not negate the need for reporting news and considering the needs of the audience, but we’ve gone away from building the relationships that matter.

One of the things that will stick with me is when alum Cameron Wolfe said Thursday that there are a lot of things people, particularly athletes, want to get off their chest, but they’re not given the opportunity to do so. Then, Michael Wilbon mentioned Friday the significance of simply talking to those he covers without agenda and without a notebook. He is able to build trust and tell meaningful stories that aren’t weighed down by quotes and numbers. These reminded me of why I got into journalism.

I want to tell the stories nobody asks about. I want to let people talk about the joys in their lives, the hurts and everything in-between. I want them to know they’re more than just content to fill a website. Gamers are fun, but they’re not going to change the world. The real, original stories and relationships can, and they’re what I hope to do every day.

-Jadyn Watson-Fisher