RWJBarnabas and Seton Hall host Write on Sports workshop

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NEWARK, NJ — A group of Write on Sports students from West Orange, East Orange, Hawthorne, Clifton and Newark put their journalism skills into practice during a Jan. 7 workshop at Prudential Center with the Seton Hall University men’s basketball team. The students were poised to watch the game, not as spectators, but as journalists with the opportunity to join in the post-game press conference.

Seated around a conference table with Gannett NJ sports writer Jerry Carino, nine students prepared as journalists prior to tip off. As the students were going to take part in the post-game press conference alongside the pros, Carino was giving them his insight about what to look for during the game. A longtime journalist, he stressed how important it is in this digital age to be an all-in-one type of reporter. He relies on his mobile phone to take pictures, video and record audio for accuracy of quotes.

“The most important part of the job is the quotes,” Carino said, according to a press release. “What people want from me is what was said, what was the analysis, what was the feedback. That is something only reporters can get in the locker room; fans can’t get in there, so, to me, that’s the most important part of the job.”

With that piece of advice, the students worked together to come up with a strategy of what to look for during the game and what types of questions they would hope to get answered.

After the Seton Hall victory over DePaul by more than 30 points, the students gathered briefly to formulate their questions and grab their media credentials, before meeting up with the other journalists to speak to the players. One of the players they crowded around was Desi Rodriguez, who had scored 25 points in the game.

“I had a lot fun today interviewing the players in the locker room, especially Desi!” WoS student Ty’lil Mentor said in the press release.

“During the summer, Write on Sports students get to act like reporters when guest athletes and journalists come to camp, and these guests are always surprised by the quality of the questions the students ask,” WoS Program Director Erik Jacobson said in the release. “I think it was even more impressive to see these students asking good questions side-by-side with professional journalists in an actual locker room. In this way, they were not acting like sports journalists, they were being sports journalists in real-life.”

Each student will produce a story to be included in the WoS magazine winter edition and they wasted no time in getting to work. Intern Gabby Varano, a WoS alumna headed to college in the fall for journalism, asked Carino about the impact Write on Sports has on budding journalists.

“This is the type of thing where the earlier you start, the better you are because it is so competitive to get jobs and I can’t think of a better way to get into this whole profession than doing it now while they are young enough to learn and see if this is what they want to do,” Carino said. “It’s fantastic.”

WoS, a not-for-profit organization, receives funding from individuals, foundations and corporations. Students attend tuition free. For more information, contact