Journalism Day Takes Nationwide

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Blue Jackets Locker Room

Kyle Zies

BY KYLE ZIES (’16)

On the dreary morning of November 10, students from across central Ohio rushed through the doors of Nationwide Arena all for a common goal. Journalism. Looking to spark some brightness to their day, approximately 90 students commuted to the home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets to learn more about the trade from the professionals.

Starting the day by receiving a complementary Nick Foligno sports bag, students sat waiting further instructions with smiles perched on their faces in pure excitement of making it to Nationwide. A tour ensued and students and teachers were able to experience the arena by a Nationwide Arena tour guide and learn interesting details about the building and the franchise that were not known to many. With the tour lasting roughly one hour, students nestled back in and waited upon their next activity.

Separating into further groups, two stations consisting of Journalism and reporting activities and lectures provided the students with different ways of learning the skill. An activity that dealt with memorization gave the students an interactive look on interviewing, importance of memory, and team work to developing a worthy article. Overlooking, the Blue Jackets’ practice rink, the Ice Haus, students seemed to be next to heaven if their smiling faces were any indications.

The second station that sat comfortably in the cushioned seats of section 116 was a lecture about how to interview properly from the Director of Group Sales, Nick Myers who preached to his audience about types of questions in interviews.

“Ask the right questions,” he said. “Make them feel comfortable.”

The final station included discussing the skills and values of good reporting in the sports world. Adequate questions, accountability, fairness, honesty, and accuracy highlighted the key points to the station. Brainstorming ideas and practice on simple yet powerful tweets for social media, as it has become a major centerpiece to journalism, not just in sports.

Next came the highlight of the day as students were able to listen to and ask questions to four prominent members of the Blue Jackets and Fox Sports Ohio staff. Todd Sharrock, Vice President of Communications and Team Services; Greg Murray, Public Address Announcer; Rob Mixer, Manager of Digital and Social Media and Dave Maetzold, Rink Side Reporter, Game Host and Feature Reporter for Fox Sports Ohio.

The students were able to toss questions at the professionals and allow their responses to further educate them on their professions.

“Write. A lot,” was advised by Todd Sharrock, a point that was echoed by the other three men encouraging the students to continue writing in order to gain skills through practice.

Sporting his November mustache, Dave Maetzold brought forth a powerful speech about the desire that one must have to enter this profession and fight through the tough times that the job will often bring.

“Never give up,” Maetzold said, speaking of his firing from Channel 4 NBC in which he said gave him the opportunity to land a job covering the Blue Jackets. He went on to talk about the importance of talking to players and coaches.

“You can’t tailor any questions to any player.” Maetzold was adamant about striving for success which his colleagues next to him agreed with.

“Have thoughtful questions for thoughtful answers,” said Rob Mixer. All four men seemed to be in agreement in their preachings to the students striving for a similar career.

When the clock struck four o’clock, students exited the arena blessed with new insight and knowledge, but not empty handed. Tickets to the game that evening rested in the pockets of the students in which the Blue Jackets would blow a third period lead to the Vancouver Canucks for a 5-3 loss.

Never minding the loss, the students were able to return to their respective classrooms with new knowledge from the professionals all in attempt to becoming better journalists.