Sean Says: Take advantage of opportunities, do not interrupt

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

To me, nothing looks worse than blatantly not paying attention and then raising your hand to ask a question that the presenter literally just go done covering.

It makes you look like an idiot to the rest of the of the group and also incredibly rude to the person presenting.

Myself and seven others in the journalism department just went to Nashville for a Sports Reporting Workshop, that ESPN’s Buster Olney puts together.

Only presented with a large group of volunteers, who by the way, are professional journalists who write for ESPN, the Memphis Grizzlies, Tennessee Titans, Sports Illustrated, some who used to cover the NFL, NBA, MLB and more professional outlets.

It goes without saying that the knowledge they brought to the sessions is valuable.

For more valuable than the conversation between two college students who sat leaned back, feet up, with no attempt to whisper while one of the presenters talked about covering games and how to improve coverage.

It was not a large room, so their voices carried and myself and two of the people I was with could not believe they were doing it.

It made it hard for us, and the others sitting near them, to focus on the presentation.

Then the kids have the audacity to reword exactly what the presenter said as a question, not getting confirmation on what he just said, but legitimately asking a question, which was just covered.

For starters, the conference is $100 to attend, which all things considered, is cheap especially because the professionals are not being paid to do it, but because they care about helping young journalists who aspire to get to the next level.

Maybe they paid attention in the other sessions throughout the day, I do not know, but why would you waste a chance to have a 50-minute session with someone who knows far more than you?

There were 125 student journalists who attended the conference, and I know for sure, there are far more across the 50 states that are going to be looking for a job in the next couple years.

And you have a chance to sit in a room with 20 others (there were three sessions at each time), to gain knowledge and ask real questions, and not questions that the presenter clearly just talked about, but questions that he did not cover.

I have no idea who these kids were, but it just blows my mind how some people are just outright disrespectful and waste opportunities that thousands of kids would kill for.

Who knows? Maybe these kids know it all already and have jobs lined up to cover the MLB, but to belittle the presenter in that way is ridiculous.

The presenters definitely have important things to be doing, but take the time out of their day to speak genuinely to the students willing to learn.

For example, Buster Olney, during our lunch break made three phone calls to MLB general managers and two MLB agents.

It was not Buster Olney giving the presentation with the laid-back students, but even though it was not, you should treat the presenter as if it was.

Sean Hastings is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].