Mad Respect for Local Sports Reporters

A great thing about my job is that I get to interact with professionals in various occupations outside of just athletics. Business owners, marketing consultants, public service workers, campus-wide employees, and sales reps make up some of the people I help out and work with. However, in that group I left out the one profession that I enjoy interacting with the most, the one profession that I probably have the most respect for: the local television sports reporter.

First off, I have an all-encompassing respect for the local media in general. Doing all they can to write/shoot/broadcast/Tweet the latest news in a very competitive and low-paying environment, I marvel at the excellent job that many of them do. Whether it is through a newspaper, television screen, radio, or website, I am thankful for the coverage they provide us.

With that said, my level of admiration heightens a bit for the local journalists who appear on television, especially the reporters. While appearing on camera takes an enormous amount of guts in general, everything else that the job requires from going to location-to-location, getting stories, scoring interviews, writing the material, and then putting it all together as a final package is daunting to say the least. The pressure would weigh on anyone and to realize that these people do it on a day-to-day basis speaks volumes about their work ethic.

Handing out one more heightened notch of respect, I have to specifically signal out local television sports reporters. While having any type of profession associated with athletics is a dream for many, even the most avid and obsessed sports junkie could easily get burnt out reporting local sports.

Shaun Rainey is a sports reporter for the ABC/FOX station in Missoula. He is a great talent and a friend on mine.

Shaun Rainey is a sports reporter for the ABC/FOX station in Missoula. He is a great talent and a friend on mine.

First things first that you have to understand is that a sports reporter at your local station wears many hats. Most of the time he/she travels to multiple sites in a day, scouts out a spot to work, shoots the games, conducts interviews, hustles back to the station, writes the sportscast, edits it, changes clothes, and then slides into the anchor desk and in front of the camera to deliver the day’s sports. Talk about exerting a lot of energy!

But honestly, I just rapidly fired off the main duties that the sports journalist has to accomplish. I didn’t even scratch the surface of every little detail that goes into each one of those tasks.

I didn’t talk about the long hours involved for sports reporters. From starting at the station early in the day and then going to the competition sites and then back to the station up through the late night newscast makes for a brutally long day. The hours extend to the weekends and holidays too. Sports are always happening and while most of us are fortunate enough to enjoy them, sports journalists are working their butts off to cover them.

I didn’t mention the taxing travel obstacles that many sports journalists go through as they commute from site to site, many outside of city limits. Speaking of travel, I didn’t bring up the challenging road conditions that many must navigate during the winter months, especially here in Montana. Going from small town to small town on sketchy roads in a blizzard just for the sake of capturing a few highlights is risky business.