It all started with a tweet.
When Curry College’s student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists wanted to invite a reporter to campus to speak to students about the rapidly evolving field of journalism, group member Nick Ironside (@nironside) knew just the way to touch base with the best in the business.
“I tweeted,” said Ironside, who signed on to his Twitter account and reached out to one of the most recognizable and respected sports journalists in the country, Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) of Sports Illustrated.
Three months later, “America’s premier pro football writer” sat before a crowd of budding reporters in the Curry College Parents’ Lounge, and talked about his evolution from local newspaper beat reporter to “must-read” sports columnist and professional on-air commentator.
“I tell people to diversify what they do in the media,” said King, who writes the Monday Morning Quarterback column on SI.com, a “sports insider” recap that generates thousands of emails a week from fans, reporters and industry professionals alike.
King told Curry’s aspiring media mavens that success in the field of journalism will come only if they are willing to test their skills in a variety of reporting roles. He referenced “today’s journalist” as a writer, videographer, commentator, editor and even a blogger.
Though years ago King was content referring to himself as simply a beat reporter, he said he quickly learned to appreciate the great rewards that come from contributing to wide variety of multimedia platforms. In addition to his role at Sports Illustrated, Kingfrequently appears as a commentator on national radio and television talk shows.
“Twitter is an amazing thing…it’s totally changed the way I update myself,” said King, who logs on daily to learn what stories are breaking in the media before shooting out calls to his sources. “I try to follow at least one sports reporter in every city.”
Students and alumni in the audience said they enjoyed asking King about his personal connections to major league players and coaches, and even challenged him to make predictions about upcoming seasons.King happily shared anecdotes about the many connections he has made on his way up the sports reporting ladder, but also took time to emphasize the importance of networking in person, and not just online.
Ironside said he enjoyed hearing about King’s personal interactions with some of his biggest sports idols, but perhaps most appreciated the professional advice he passed along.
“As a football fan, I found Peter entertaining. But more importantly…he gave a lot of good professional advice,” said Ironside, a Communication major.
“The communication business is all about networking...Peter is evidence of networking leading to success.”
King puts as much energy into reporting professional sports as the players do performing on the field. He said that strong writing skills are important, but that drive and passion to be the best is what makes a champion reporter.
The above release was submitted by Patrice Howard, Assistant Director of Communication.