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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register


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Arielle Chambers guides N.C. A&T students on becoming successful sports journalists

Arielle Chambers presents at N.C. A&T for a sports reporting masterclass.
David Squires
Arielle Chambers presents at N.C. A&T for a sports reporting masterclass.

N.C. A&T students picked up all the tips and tricks to flourishing in the world of sports journalism on Monday after listening to trailblazing sports journalist Arielle Chambers during the sports reporting masterclass.

In a world where men’s sports historically dominate the mainstream media, Chambers finds the importance of amplifying women’s voices in sports and emphasizes how important it is for students to find their calling.

“I saw this blank space in coverage for women’s sports,” Chambers said. “I knew I wanted to cover women’s sports in a real and raw way that I hadn’t seen before. So, the key is to figure out what gets you to crawl out of bed in the morning. Once you do that, the motivation will come easily.”

Chambers’ love for heightening storytelling for women’s sports led her to create HighlightHER, a fast-growing social media platform under Bleacher Report. Whether the page showcases high-flying gymnasts, impressive layup packages or even one-on-one sit-downs with players, one thing remains consistent throughout the page: the content is exclusively about women.

Chambers’ expertise in women’s sports runs deep. She was a professional cheerleader with New York sports teams such as the Knicks and the Liberty and played volleyball throughout high school. Throughout the class, Chambers stresses the importance of becoming an expert on the content you’re reporting on.

“You can’t tell me you’re a good journalist without consuming the sport,” Chambers said. “Be a fan and student of the game; that means studying, watching your film and whatever else you need to do to feel prepared. Whether you want to do social media, analytics or producing, you must know what you’re talking about.”

Although the stories that make headlines and end up on every major sports show are easier to cover, Chambers notes that the stories most people gloss over may very well be the ones that separate us from the competition.

“You always want to reach a little deeper,” Chambers said. “Everyone will do a story on LSU winning a national championship, so why do you need to do it, too? It won’t be easy, but try to break those not-so-obvious stories that nobody else is doing and figure out what you can cover to help you stand out.”

The idea of “standing out” was a recurring theme throughout the class. Chambers adds that there are opportunities to offer new perspectives and ideas in most aspects of journalism, even through interviewing.

“You all need to practice thinking outside the box,” Chambers said. “What is the point of asking an athlete how they feel after winning a championship? We already know they feel great. Ask questions that don’t have super obvious answers. And don’t only interview the star athletes, find a different perspective.” 

Chambers has a rather unconventional approach to sports journalism. She’s animated, blunt and especially outspoken. Chambers encourages students to be authentic but reminds them that everything that works for her may not work for everyone.

“I’ve been in sports journalism for 13 years,” Chambers said. “People trust me to do what I want because they see that it works. I want you all to be yourselves, but remember you must establish trust with the people you’re working for before you come out the gate swinging.”

The presentation certainly left a positive impression on students, including India Powers, a junior multimedia journalism student from Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The session reminded me to always walk in any door confidently,” Powers said. “No matter how much pushback we may get, we must remain comfortable with ourselves and our work.

The two-day master class followed up with a presentation from Rob Parker, co-host of the Odd Couple on FS1 and founder of MLBbro, and Gregory Lee, senior news editor for Front Office Sports. 


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