Los Angeles Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo organized a virtual panel with well-known individuals who work in the sports industry, including Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin, to benefit her Guidry’s Guardian Foundation on Wednesday, May 27. Rizzo announced on her social media accounts that she was hosting a Zoom event with experts in the field for aspiring sports journalists. The event was open to high school students, college students and young professionals looking to get into the sports print and broadcast industry.
The panel included Alanna Rizzo, Jaime Jarrín, Jorge Jarrín, Amanda Brown, Angel Rodriguez, Jaime Maggio, Alden Gonzalez and Jill Painter Lopez. Rizzo said that she tried to get panelists that not only cover baseball but other sports as well.
I was eager to hear that Alanna was hosting a panel dedicated to aspiring sports journalists as that is what I hope to do with my future. In the times we are currently living in, it has been difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been finding it difficult to find inspiration and motivation for what I want to do in the future. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this virtual event and hear from some of the greatest in the industry. It is exactly the type of motivation I needed during this time.
The following are 5 important take aways I learned from the virtual event.
5. Develop your news reel.
Amanda Brown gave great advice for developing a news reel that potential employers will view. She suggested making a reel with a lot of short, quick clips. Brown suggested to put many different types of clips in a reel to show versatility. She also suggested to develop your social media and to keep it clean, as many employers will search for your social media accounts when deciding whether they want to hire you or not.
4. Read a lot.
A big point Jaime Jarrín kept making throughout the event was the importance of reading. He said constant reading is what got him to where he is today. He came to the United States not knowing English nor baseball. Reading books and newspapers is what helped him become a successful play-by-play reporter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said that being able to speak two or more languages will open up many doors in this field.
3. Don’t be afraid to move.
Alanna Rizzo started off her broadcasting career in a small Texas town called Wichita Falls. She had never heard of this place in her life and had neither her family or friends. But she knew she had to make the move if this is what she wanted to do as a career. Both Rizzo and Jorge Jarrín made it a point that aspiring journalists cannot be afraid to move to small states. This is where many people get their start to eventually work in places like California. When you work at smaller stations like the one Alanna worked for in Wichita Falls, it’s okay to make mistakes because that is how you learn to make yourself better. Alanna said she would always mispronounce names while working in Texas. But that helped her realize that she cannot be making mistakes like that when she works for a big-time station.
2. Don’t be afraid to fail.
All the panelists stressed how difficult this field can be and how it is okay if you fail more than you succeed. Failure is what makes you better in the long run. You learn for the next time you are presented with another opportunity. Failing is part of being human. But we cannot let that tear us down or give up on our goals and aspirations. I have already experienced my share of failure as a young aspiring sports journalist. It has not been easy, but I pick myself back up every time in search of my next opportunity because I know that this is what this field is all about.
1. Everybody’s path moves at different rates.
I felt this piece of advice was the most important. It is easy to get stressed out or anxious that someone already has an internship or a job at a station. It is easy to get worried that someone already has a lot more experience than you do. Rizzo said that we cannot let that break us down. Everyone moves at different rates. She did not even graduate with an undergrad degree in Journalism. Rizzo did not get her Master’s degree in Journalism until she was 28 and look where she is now. Accomplishing your goals is possible. It might take a little more time than the person next you, but I learned from this event that that is okay. Everyone will end up where they are meant to be eventually.