Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Wilbon brings flavor

Every time we had a speaker come to SJI, it was like eating a small slice of the same pie. They spoke about journalism from their perspective, whether it be through the technical aspect of writing or their personal experiences. The classes were tasty, and enjoying them piece by piece made it so we didn’t get sick of it. Eating a whole pie in one sitting gets testy.

Enter Michael Wilbon.

The co-host of Pardon the Interruption’s slice was the same size as the others, if not smaller because of his busy schedule. Except he came from a completely different store. From the other side of town. And it was delicious.

In Wilbon fashion, his time talking to the class was certainly unconventional. He called balance a word I’m not allowed to use (starts with a bull, ends with a turd). He hates the wave of analytics that have hit sports, which I thought was interesting. There was an emphasis on storytelling, which was one of his more standard pieces of advice.

For a man who was at the Washington Post for 30 years, the knowledge meant a lot. Technology and analytics have changed the sports journalism field, but storytelling will always prevail. His talk was peppered with profanity, which added to the experience. For our last talk at SJI, it was the perfect change-of-pace slice to keep us on our toes.

— Souichi Terada