Brandon Risley



In this class I learned a lot about how to be more of a professional reporter. First off I learned a lot about citing sources and why it’s so important. Most college papers require research on the Internet because let’s face it no one knows everything. Eventually you’re going to need to look up something and once in a while you’re going to find something you really like and want to use in your paper. But you can’t just paraphrase it and call it as your own because in reality, it’s not your own. You’re just using a source and you have to give that person credit because they are the ones who said it first. There have been times where I have struggled with this and I have had to learn that not everything I put down on paper is my own even if I change stuff slightly. I’ve learned to really focus on my research and give everyone credit who has stuff that I want to use.

The local business beat has taught me how much people from Utah love their local food. Coming from a place like Portland, Ore., where local restaurants are a huge thing, I’ve really appreciated how frequently the people here in Salt Lake City go to local places. The two restaurants I wrote about have very friendly atmospheres and the owners have really wanted to make it an experience for their customers, and not just a place to eat. The places I covered gave me a sense of pride to go to school here because it shows me the residents here really want to help each other and feel like they have a duty to each other to make each community great.

I have enjoyed my reporting and my time in this class and I hope to continue to grow as writer. The class has taught me to never be satisfied with my drafts and always strive to be better. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned in the class to some real-life experiences.


I am 21-year-old junior from Portland, Ore., currently a communication major at the University in Utah. I decided to become a communication major because I’ve wanted to be a sports broadcaster ever since I was a young boy. I used to run a005round the backyard pretending I was the biggest names in sports and commentating everything I did to the whole neighborhood.

I have always been the only kid on the block who used to listen to sports talk shows as well as nearly every single game on the radio. I used to fall asleep to the voices of Brian Wheeler (Blazers play-by-play) and John Canzano (sports talk show host) because sports were the only thing I wanted to think about before bed. Plus most of the games went past my bedtime and this was the only way I could hear the ending without my parents getting mad at me.

I first started playing hockey when I was 5 years old and did that for 7 years up until middle school. I switched from hockey to diving in the middle of my seventh-grade year because I was too small for hockey and had a natural knack for flipping and twisting in the air. After a major injury while making contact with the diving board I decided to start swimming in high school and quickly improved enough to receive an athletic scholarship to the U.

In high school I got the opportunity to write for the Portland paper, the Oregonian, covering high school football and basketball games once or twice a week. Fortunately the editors liked the majority of my stories and most of them ended up not only being published online but in the actual paper version.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that to be a sports journalist, or journalist of any kind, you have to dig deeper than just the field of play. Sports goes so far beyond the actual event because of how many things need to happen to make it work. You have to start at the top of an organization and work your way down and figure out what makes that team or individual click. That’s why I love the sports world. It can be so fragile and unpredictable and every day there is another twist and turn. I’ve been saying it for years, sports is the best reality TV because it is so unpredictable.

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