During my radio newsday at university this week, I was assigned the role of a sports journalist. This was quite daunting for me given that I’m not really knowledgeable on the subject. Granted, when football or tennis move into the general news agenda, then I do know a fair amount about what’s going on (for example, the Sam Allardyce scandal and Andy Murray’s pursuit of the world number one title). Yet, I don’t passionately support or keep a close eye on a particular football team. So, understandably, I was a bit nervous about being given the position of a sports reporter.
However, that’s the crazy but wonderful thing about journalism. The pressure surrounding the profession does force reporters to go outside their comfort zones. For those on my course who were a little bit shy at first, a couple of ‘vox pops’ (interviewing members of the public) helped give them confidence, and now for me, it’s gifted me with a little more knowledge about the sporting world. The area outside my comfort zone has now become – a small part of – my actual comfort zone.
In the space of six hours, I was clued up on a BBC report into the price of tickets and food at different football grounds, had an interviewee available and attended my first ever press conference at a football club. Journalism forces you to go outside your comfort zone, and if you do, then you learn new things and get rewarded with amazing opportunities or interesting people to meet.
It’s one of the reasons why I want to be a journalist: you have the opportunity to learn new information (or news) every day in such a short space of time, become an expert on it, meet new people and interview them, and then share the news with the rest of the world – and that is a beautiful thing.