Povich Day 1 Camp Recap

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Povich Day 1 Camp Recap
Jul 18, 2017

By Grant Cohen

The 2017 Shirley Povich Sports Journalism Camp kicked off for a fourth consecutive year on Monday.

“I was kind of nervous because there was a lot of people and I didn’t know anybody here,” camper Tsion Cummings said. “But I’m really looking forward to improving [my skills] and getting better.”

After opening remarks from Povich Center Director George Solomon and the Camp counselors, four guest panelists took over the morning to elaborate on sports media. While talking about their different paths of getting into the working field, the panelists flashbacked to the most memorable moments in their careers.

Lindsay Simpson, Director of Media and Communications for D.C. United, shared an emotional story about how she had to cover a high school football game after learning how her grandmother was put on life support. Simpson ended up covering a story about a boy on one of the team’s sidelines who was battling cancer, winning an Emmy for that story in the Washington Post.

Merrill College visiting professor and Around the Horn panelist, Kevin Blackistone, also advised the campers to open their eyes to something that they never considered along with emphasizing that there’s no clear path to get into the field. Washington Redskins’ broadcaster Larry Michael made notes about integrity and professionalism while Simpson encouraged the campers to read as much as possible and to gain knowledge about the sports world.

“I was really excited but I was also kind of nervous because when I looked at the schedule it looked like a bunch of super important people would be talking. I was excited to get new experiences and learn from different people,” camper Kirstin Huggins said. “When we had our first session, we had four really awesome people to talk to. It was reassuring and super cool.”

A tour of the XFINITY Center led by Rose DiPaula was followed with sessions in Newswriting and Sports Photography. Due to breaking news with the Redskins, Washington Post writer Liz Clarke was unable to present and the session was led by Solomon, a former Washington Post Sports Editor, and Penn Live sportswriter Daniel Gallen.

While concepts of writing technique were shown to the campers, the main message Solomon and Gallen got across was newswriting is more than just covering sports. They preached that aspiring sportswriters need to be interested news, politics, events in their communities and everything involved in journalism.

“Whatever session we were in, they were all talking about getting things simple and concise,” Huggins said. “Just making sure we are getting correct, honest news out to people.”

Former Washington Post photographer Joel Richardson gave hands-on demonstrations with the variety of cameras laid out for students to try. Richardson explained that position is vital when shooting photos and photographers want to apply the fastest shutter speed available when shooting sports.

Campers were amazed by Richardson’s Sports Illustrated cover photo of Darvin Ham’s backboard smash in 1996 along with the numerous assignments that he had been on.

“I wanted them to understand that sports photography is it’s own form of journalism and photography,” Richardson said. “In sports photography, you have to shoot high shutter speeds and follow focus and I was trying to make sure they grasped that.”

The Camp continues on Tuesday with more sessions, a mock press conference with Maryland women’s basketball and continuing work on camp projects.

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