Tips From the Pros

Name:  Roxanne Wilder
News organization:
  Catch 47 and Bay News 9
Title:  Television Sports Reporter

Best advice you ever received:  "One female in the business once told me that at times there may be challenges that come about because you're a woman in a predominantly male business. She said as long as you believe that you have something different that you can bring to the audience, keep doing what you are doing and don't worry about people who don't want you there."

Name: Gary Shelton
News organization: St. Petersburg Times
Title: Grand Ruler of the Universe (pending).

Best advice for an aspiring sports reporter: Know how to work the multimedia. The internet becomes more important every day, and as such, it doesn't hurt to know how to take and post photos, video, etc. Most importantly, hone the storytelling skills. This isn't about sports. This is about reporting, and about writing.

Best thing about being a sports reporter: As someone once said, it beats working. You get to go a lot of cool places and you get to run across a lot of fascinating stories. And your friends will think your job is way, way cooler than it actually is. When you work at something you love, you tend to love it less. The closer you are to a team, or an athlete, the more warts you see. My romance of sports was tainted long ago, I fear.

Worst thing about being a sports reporter: The time away from home. I have two daughters that I don't get to see enough. True story, the day before the Super Bowl, I was depressed because I had missed my 12-year-old score three goals in a rec soccer game. It sounds silly, given the thousands of dollars people spend to go to these games, but it's the truth.

Best advice you ever received: "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.'' It was a song by the Tams when I was in  high school. Seriously, when I worked for the Miami Herald, I worked with the great Edwin Pope, who would tell everyone "Read. Read all you can. Read mysteries and biographies and novels and other writers.'' And it's true. You can't write if you don't read.

Name: Justin Allen
News organization: WTSP-TV
Title: Sports Anchor

Best advice for an aspiring sports reporter: Get ready to work long hours with little pay to start out with.

Best thing about being a sports reporter: Getting to tell stories that people may not know about.  And, free food at sporting events.
Worst thing about being a sports reporter: Working holidays and not have the choice (most of the time) of what city you want to live in.

Best advice you ever received: Always check your facts.  Credibility is the most valuable asset to a sports reporter/anchor.