Brendan Hall, currently a reporter for ESPN Boston, returned to Umass on Tuesday for a Q & A with aspiring Sports Journalists to discuss his career path as well as what it takes to get there.
Hall began his Journalism career at Umass covering the Police at the Collegian. Beginning a co-op at the Boston Globe and after four years of deskwork, moving to the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, FL. where he covered just one sports story the entire summer. There he worked primarily on general news. Now at ESPN Boston covering high school sports, Hall explains it was not always easy, “I basically busted my ass for four years trying to get this job.” Just to be able to cover varsity sports for ESPN requires dedication and motivation. Aspiring journalists should be prepared to work. Hall worked 16 hours a day – seven in the morning to midnight, everyday. Life of a journalist is not easy, and so it is important to maximize your opportunities.
When asked what he would do if he was in Ann Arbor over the weekend for the Michigan v. Umass game, “If it were me I would wanna know what’s going on in their [the marching band] heads, what people are saying, that’s a pretty emotional halftime performance.” Proving the point that the most important, or newsworthy stories are not about how many yards John Hernandez ran for during the game. “As the story gets bigger, you go smaller. Find the angle that no one else is looking for.” That is what will give you the advantage.
Brendan Hall gave students a nice look into the future – what they can expect and how to get ahead. As for a little insight to his work, well Hall followed simply with, “You gotta take in what you see, make sure you get every little detail, [and] use it to illuminate your narrative.”
For more on Brendan Hall, check out this website.