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Sports Illustrated writers give career tips to Clemson students

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This article was written by a student of ENGL 2310: Intro to Journalism, which is taught by Mike Pulley.

All-day, every day, you never know what will happen in the sports world’s 24/7 news cycle. To be a successful sports journalist in this rapid-fire field, a reporter has to react fast and be versatile, accordingto Sports Illustrated Co-Editor-in-Chief Ryan Hunt, who spoke at Clemson University on Oct. 25.

Hunt and Jamie Lisanti, Sports Illustrated Special projects editors, visited Clemson to discuss many topics regarding the sports journalism field with students in the Communication Department. 

Hunt said it’s hard to fathom how much social media has changed the dynamic of everything in sports news. 

“Everything moves extremely fast these days and you never know which direction sports and news will go,” Hunt said. “The industry is never dull, and that is what I love.” 

People now read a majority of their news on their mobile phones. This is something that Sports Illustratedis concentrating on. Social media will only continue to grow and change, so it has turned into a big focus for Sports Illustrated.

There are many competitors in the sports media world today. Athletes have started to create their own media outlet platforms to connect with their fans, which has created a challenge for Sports Illustrated to keep their content original.

“With all the different media sites today, you have to try and find the unique angle when people now can go to the athlete themselves,” Lisanti said. 

One reason for the success of Sports Illustrated is the importance of trust between the publication and athletes. Athletes trust how the writers will write their story with fairness and balance. 

“Building the trust over 65 years is why athletes come to us,” Hunt said. 

The Watt Family Innovation Center Auditorium was filled with hopeful students looking to enter sports media. Amy McKenna, a senior communication major has a dream of being a college basketball or WNBA analyst and found the presentation to be helpful for those getting out of college trying to enter the workforce.

“Ryan and Jamie emphasized to us that get where we want to go, we should be versatile and open to all opportunities,” McKenna said. 

The professionals were asked questions about what those who aspire to be in sports media should be doing now and what skills should be acquired. Hunt and Lisanti’s responses emphasized how important it is to take every possible opportunity that is presented. 

“Never shine away from a challenge or opportunity. Never be scared to always take on a challenge. Write and read every day, you can never write too much and you will only get better every day with practice,” Hunt said.

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