Reflection: Povich Center Workshop & Jamboree

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Reflection: Povich Center Workshop & Jamboree
Apr 29, 2018

By MacKaiya Cherry

I had the pleasure of attending the Povich Center Workshop & Jamboree on April 14. This event offers aspiring high school and college journalists the opportunity to “learn the tricks of the trade” of sports journalism, said George Solomon, the director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism.

Students in attendance came from schools across the Washington metropolitan area, including DeMatha Catholic High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Georgetown University and many more.

Students not only learned about sports journalism but also had the opportunity to learn about the admissions process for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the University of Maryland. Danielle Audley, the coordinator of college recruitment at the University of Maryland, spoke to participants about how and when they should start applying for college.

Audley suggested that students start looking and applying early; the University of Maryland and many other schools across the country select more than half of their incoming freshman classes during the early admissions process.

She also talked about the University of Maryland’s unique application. I remember the application because of the short answer questions that stood out from the other colleges to which I had applied. UMD wants to know who you are as a person, not just your academic background.

On that panel with Danielle Audley was none other than one of our fearless leaders, Rafael Lorente, the associate dean of Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Lorente told participants how important it is to continue to come to events like this workshop, which can help high school students learn the importance of journalism not only in sports but also in politics, business and entertainment, as well as how all of those area intertwine.

Next on the itinerary came a panel of experienced journalists who have made their marks, such as Tracy Grant, the managing editor of the Washington Post, and David Meeks, the managing editor of USA Today’s Sports Media Group. The panel discussion focused on the importance of the field of journalism. Even though the media may be under fire, journalists will always be needed.

We then broke out into the first workshop sessions of the day. Though all three choices were tempting – “Sports Design and Photography,” “Columns and Features” and “Sports Television” and – I opted for the last of those. The session featured Heather Dinich, a college football beat reporter for ESPN, and Joe Yasharoff, a former producer who now is a professor at Merrill College.

I plan to go into broadcast reporting so going to this session really resonated with me. I learned more about the production side of television because without the production crew a lot of what I plan to do in the future would be extremely difficult.

Towards the end of their session, both Dinich and Yasharoff gave their emails and social media to the students so they could stay in touch, which was not only a generous gesture but an important lesson. Especially in journalism, networking and making connections can make or break your career.

Workshops continued throughout the day, with topics ranging from sports radio to beat reporting to social media. Then the day finished with one final session, one which I thought was the most important: the Free-for-All, where students could get their work critiqued by professionals.

Getting this hands-on experience early on, both in the Free-for-All and in the workshop as a whole, could help kickstart successful careers for the aspiring journalists in attendance – myself included! I enjoyed my time at the Povich Center Workshop & Jamboree, I am already looking forward to next year!

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