Sports Journalism the Povich Way

Sports Journalism the Povich Way



Povich: Does the addition of the teams from the east
in the Big Ten take away from the tradition of the Big Ten being a mid-western conference?
Narrator: It's another packed house. Since its inception, the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism
has drawn leading figures from the world of sports media to campus to shape the future
of this dynamic field. Shirley Povich was a groundbreaking sports journalist at the
Washington Post for 75 years. He produced columns of great meaning and substance that
encouraged racial and gender equality. In 2011, his children — Maury, Lynn and David
– helped establish a Sports Journalism Center under the directorship of long-time sports
editor George Solomon. Solomon: We all felt that it was something to establish in his memory-
a way to show students and faculty alike how to do journalism, how to do it right, how
to do it ethically, how to do it well. Narrator: The Povich Center taps into the rich legacy of
Terps who have gone on to make careers in sports, bringing them back to campus for panel
discussions, symposia and other events — including workshops for high school students. Solomon
also teaches sports classes in Knight Hall along with his colleague Kevin Blackistone.
A visiting professor, he is a working sports journalist known for his columns and appearances
on ESPN. Blackistone says he tells his classes that Shirley Povich was an impeccable journalist
who used sports as a magnifying glass on greater issues. Blackistone: He had standards, he was fearless,
he had ethics, he had a moral compass and I think that all is really important. So for
a journalism school to tie its name to a sports center that is dedicated in Shirley Povich's
name and his memory, I think really, really speaks highly for the journalism that the
college is producing. Narrator: Sports journalism continues to grow in interest at the Merrill College and the Povich Center helps provide a real-world focus. Students cover events on campus and
cover local professional teams. Alumni like ESPN's Scott Van Pelt and Washington's WJLA-7
Sports Director Tim Brant come back to campus to inspire, provide real-world advice and act as mentors for students.
Van Pelt: Find your voice, say what you think, be authentic. It's a great
time to be in this business because it's easier than ever to share your thoughts. It's also
the most difficult because anyone can. And so there's more clutter, and there's more
noise and how do you cut through? And you cut through by being authentic.
Brant: Be able to communicate at a very high level of intellect so that you have that personal relationship
with whoever it is that you're dealing with. And the same, I think, when you're dealing
with a story. You have to look at it from the human side, from the technical side, and
from what's taking place in that story. Narrator: The legacy of Shirley Povich lives daily in Knight
Hall and through events like the Lacey-Smith Award. ESPN's Claire Smith was recently honored
with the first award – for her significant contributions to racial and gender equality
in sports for more than 30 years. It would have made Shirley Povich proud.
Solomon: Povich over
the course of his career fought for justice and fought for equality in sports, which is
what the Povich Center strives for as well.

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