Journalism students get a behind-the-scenes look at sports reporting

Collegiate’s journalists received invaluable insight into sports reporting this week when WVEC’s sports coordinator Keeley Fenning visited their journalism class on Tuesday.

Fenning discussed her station’s approach to covering high school sports, as well as how Collegiate’s students and families could get involved. WVEC recently launched a new project,www.wvec.com/highschoolsports, to encourage community contributions to the station’s sports coverage. Through the site, students and community members can upload stories, photos and videos about Collegiate’s athletics and our student-athletes.

“Our mission is to get high schoolers involved in our community through our website,” said Fenning to the class. “You go to school with these athletes. You know their stories and we want to hear about them, the good things you’re doing and how you’re making an impact.”

In addition to providing our Oaks with an outlet for their sports reporting, the site also allows them the opportunity to have their work published nationally through USA Today. “This gives young journalists the opportunity to explore, get published and to get their schools out there,” said Fenning.

In addition to the site, Fenning spoke to our students about how she became involved in journalism, the importance of a social media presence and the impact that it can have with how people receive their news. 

“It was huge,” said senior Edward Sutelan about Fenning’s visit. Edward is hoping to pursue a career in sports journalism and found her advice very helpful. Since her visit, he has been “running through a lot of story ideas.” 

He valued the amount of importance that she placed on social media, especially Twitter. “The way that she explained how people expect a lot of updates, such as a play-by-play on Twitter, but if you did the same thing on Facebook you would be unliked, was very true and helpful.”

His classmate junior Faith Rush agreed. “I liked that she gave us guides for what not to use on Twitter and to keep it simple,” she said.

For Oak Leaf managing editor junior Catherine Kim, Fenning’s advice came at a crucial time. “We’re trying to get in touch with students through social networking,” said Catherine. “How she managed the whole social media system, from her techniques to her interactions with users, was very helpful, especially as we prepare to launch our website and add social media to our resources.”

Catherine, admittedly not a sports person, also appreciated that “it was eye-opening experience for someone like me who isn’t into sports.” However, she liked that it provided students and the Collegiate community a way to highlight our athletic program. “A lot of people are shy about their writing skills, but we have a lot of talented photographers, and it’s a great opportunity for them.”