Leif Thulin


Passion for sports can traverse racial divides in Salt Lake City, some Black sports fans say 

Academic success and social happiness for student-athletes: mentorship and support is just as crucial off the field as on the field


The teachings of real journalistic experience: what I have learned through writing two stories for this course. 

Through taking this class and creating new experiences journalistically, I have been pleasantly surprised with how accessible and willing to help some higher profile sports reporters have been. Tony Jones and Eric Woodyard very generously offered their time, and as an aspiring sports journalist, I appreciated that they let me get to know them.

I also have been pleased with my improving ability to conduct interviews that are not dealing with necessarily the most comfortable topics, including the killings that triggered the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Finally, on a positive note, I have been very good about allotting plenty of time to write well-thought-out stories. 

Conversely, I have been disappointed in my understanding of some of the requirements, and my not reaching out in order to find clarity. I wish I were further along in understanding how to write leads and summaries. Finally, though I have improved in terms of being succinct, I definitely can improve.

While I enjoyed the process of conducting interviews and learning more about journalism, I have confirmed what I suspected about myself. I am far better at talking about the things I am passionate about than writing about them. I have learned I need to allot the time I have been allotting to have a semi-successful story.

 I have learned that I really dislike writing articles and it is grueling. However, I am happy that I have been challenged to the point where I have improved as a writer while still having confirmed my suspicions for my distaste for journalistic writing.  

I did feel like an outsider when speaking to accomplished adult African American sportswriters Tony Jones and Eric Woodyard. I felt like an outsider because I have not yet made it into that field, and am white so speaking to them about racial issues in America in part of my interviews was definitely novel whereas speaking about sports with each briefly was seamless.

I did not feel like an outsider speaking to the collegiate athletes because I have played sports my entire life and felt confident speaking to athletes around my age just due to knowing the culture of sports. 


I was born and raised in Salt Lake City. Spending my entire scholastic career prior to college at a small, scholastically rigorous private school, I always felt different for having an insatiable interest and love for sports. Being the kid with ADHD in school never promoted me to talk. Quite the contrary. When I could speak, though, I would and I loved it. I loved the feeling of speaking of what I loved most. Even from an early age, I knew talking about, analyzing sports was a dream I wanted to pursue. I adore the movie “Peter Pan” and the quote, “Just think happy thoughts, and they lift you into the air,” has stuck with me forever. 

A quote from a movie I first watched as a 3-year-old remains pertinent and fittingly so. Simplistically, I think of what I enjoy the most, much of which revolves around sports and the joy that exudes from me when playing or spectating, and I get to share that with others and that is my dream job. 

Since the age of 6, when I realized I would not make the NBA, my original dream job, I have wanted to share my love for the sports that entertain me through telling stories of the games. Fourteen years later as a 20-year-old junior majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in psychology, nothing has changed, except for my voice. 

I genuinely believe there need to be more people who adore their occupation and pour their heart and soul into it, and if I can tell stories about the sports I watch, I will. I  hope through passion and honed journalistic skills, I can relay my love for speaking and telling stories and my knowledge and passion for the games I love, and provide younger generations what the great sports broadcasters provided for me, abetting the sport I could see with what I could hear as well. 

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