Gold-Medal Student Journalists Cover 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
It's internship and job-hunting season, when students hope their portfolios have enough meaty stories and multimedia packages to help distinguish them from the crowd. But having standout clips shouldn't be a problem for at least four School of Journalism students. They spent their August covering the Rio Olympics: Jasmine Johnson and Jacob Martella, who had each just gotten their degrees, and undergrads Cat Cardenas and Akshay Mirchandani.
As Alcalde, the Texas Exes alumni magazine, reported during the summer: "The initiative to bring student reporters to the Olympics was an idea by R.B. Brenner, director of the School of Journalism, and professor Rosental Alves, who helped set up the students as volunteer workers for the Rio 2016 website." Alves is an award-winning professor and journalist from Brazil.
Kevin Robbins, a senior lecturer who teaches sports journalism, directed their work. Their efforts gained national attention when Poynter reported on the project, focusing on Cardenas' story on an Ohio diver. Poynter's headline? "An unlikely correspondent covers an unlikely medalist.
Some of their other clips:
- Johnson reported on sailing for the Providence Journal and track and field for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which the Chicago Tribune also published.
- Martella covered a weightlifter for The Houston Chronicle and a steeplechase athlete for the Northwest Herald, near Chicago.
- Mirchandani covered swimming for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other outlets.
"Having that ‘Rio de Janeiro’ line under my byline means a lot," Mirchandani told Alcalde during the Olympics. "Just knowing that I’ve covered the Olympics gives me a lot of confidence in terms of trying to find a job and trying to find something to do after college. This experience also helps me broaden my portfolio and my contact book, and I think that it’s so tough to put a value on that. This experience is definitely priceless."
After the Olympics, Mirchandani began a semesterlong internship at Sports Illustrated in New York as part of a School of Journalism-SI collaboration. Michael Shapiro will intern at SI this spring.
School of Journalism
The University of Texas