Sports Writer Visits Journalism Class

Abby Provencher, Staff Writer

Mike Esposito, a former sports writer for The Record, spoke to the Journalism class on December 3, 2012, about his experience as high school sports reporter.

Esposito, who spent two years working part time for The Record, writing on high school swimming and gymnastics, explained to the students a typical day of a sports writer.

“It begins,” Esposito said, “with researching the teams who will be competing that day. The coaches must be called to confirm time and place, and sometimes pre-interviews will take place.” He continued by saying, “It is important to get to the location early, take plenty of notes during the competition, and to conduct post-game interviews. At any event a journalist writes about, concentration and attention to detail are key for bringing the story to life.”

Esposito explained that a sports writer’s day ends by meeting strict deadlines. As sporting events can end upwards of 9:00 p.m., high school sportswriters often must rely on any available Wi-Fi to send their articles that must be written quickly, yet neatly and accurately, to meet the 11 p.m. deadline. Finally, the writer must call into the newsroom to make sure the editors do not have any questions on the content of the article.

Esposito also talked about some of the other factors of sports journalism, such as submitting the scores, otherwise known as agate, to the news desk along with his story; blogging, which is a web-only article with less rigid restrictions; and writing feature articles, which are longer, more in-depth pieces involving people on the reporter’s assigned section or beat. Esposito said that he prefered features because they allow writers to show their skill and creativity.

The former journalist also discussed how dealing with the public was one of the tougher aspects of this job, but that it is something all journalists must deal with. He told stories about parents who were upset with him because  their son or daughter who was in last place didn’t make the article or who were upset names were spelled wrong.

According to Esposito, while working at The Record, his most acclaimed work was a feature entitled “Money Ball” that was published on the front page of the sports section on June 27, 2010.  This article was written in collaboration with a fellow journalist, Jeff Roberts.

Though he no longer works for The Record, Esposito, who currently is a computer technician at Hawthorne High School, was able to give insight to the real world of journalism, and taught the class what sports writing truly is about.