OPINION: My final words to the Sports section

Here we are, the final column for the final paper. While I would love to use this space to say more goodbyes, I already went over the word count, so we’ll just stick with talking about my experience as the sports editor.

Going into this position was honestly pretty nerve wracking. I had never had a leadership position before, and to top it off, I was in charge of men and men only. 

As a woman in sports, things are already fairly intimidating. Moreover, to be a woman in a leadership position in sports is a whole different ball game, especially when you’re bossing men around. 

To put things into perspective, let me give a brief description of what I do as sports editor.

The first part of what I do, which probably seems the easiest, is what I dreaded most: story assignments. Basically, all I had to do was check the MSU Athletics website and assign my writers to do game recaps and previews of whatever was going on that week. I also started assigning other types of stories to spice things up, with the help of my assistant, Hayden Lee, the opinion piece master.

Simple, right? No. Terrifying. Telling people what to do has always scared me, but taking on this job has taught me how to deal with it, at least a little better. 

Beyond assigning stories, I took on stories myself. On production nights, every Monday and Wednesday, I also edited everyone’s stories, upon completion, whenever that would end up being. The emails clearly said, “Assignments due at 8 a.m.,” but that literally never happened.

After the editing portion was completed, I spent the rest of my nights putting the puzzle pieces of the paper together and publishing the stories online. WordPress really had me pressed. Sorry to my coworkers who had to hear me yelling at the computer every week.

Getting my writers to respect me and listen to me was something I always worried about. Luckily, times have changed, and having a woman as an authority figure in sports isn’t unheard of anymore.

I also think I was just blessed with the group of guys I got to work with. I rarely had an issue with my writers following my instructions, and I think it’s all because of the mutual respect we had for each other. Instead of them working for me, we worked for and with each other, as a team.

Did my kids (writers) sometimes drive me nuts? Yes. Spelling (Mo, Char and Lukey), Versatility (Buelow brothers) and timeliness (Hayden) was an issue for every single paper. While it may have made me crazy, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

This position has taught me a lot about myself, working with others and journalism. It opened the door to many opportunities for me, and I am eternally grateful. As I’ve said before, working here was the best decision I have ever made.

I am officially signing off as sports editor, and now leave you all with Hayden Lee. I can confidently say the sports section will be in the best of hands, after mine, of course.

Be sure to catch me on KEYC News Now starting this summer.

Thank you all, and to all a goodbye, for now.

Write to Ali Reed at alicia.reed@mnsu.edu

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