A STUDENT Reporter

I want to be a sports broadcaster some day.

I want to grace sideline after sideline with my passion for sports, my thirst for knowledge, with an ability to report on important, relevant, pressing stories.

I want to represent women in a way that is inspiring for those feeling oppressed in male-dominant industries.

I have dreams and goals that stretch far beyond what I can even fathom at this stage in my life…but I will get there. I will achieve all that I hope to achieve…but is college too safe a place to practice my craft?

I attend an enormous public university swirling with diversity of opinion, thoughts and backgrounds. Students and faculty alike utilize a variety of tactics to express themselves and let their voices be heard.

A situation occurred a few weeks ago where I felt as though my voice as a student did not exist. I am not only a student, but also a Journalism student, who is trying to practice my reporting and journalistic skills throughout my undergraduate career.

I am a sideline reporter for Ohio State’s Big Ten Network Student U program. When news hit that OSU’s women’s soccer goalkeeper suffered a season-ending injury, the media was silent.

I had to report the first home game following her injury. She still remained in the hospital and her future was very unclear at that time. Her injury was so severe, while she had been very open with her experience and exactly what she had undergone.

Our broadcast seemed very censored. We were only allowed to report certain details of her accident, not disclosing much information; although, she had disclosed every inch of her injury on multiple social media platforms.

I played my sideline report safe. I said what I was supposed to say. But, why? I feel as though I’m still a student. Right now I work within a hierarchy. I can’t overstep a boundary. I can’t make a risky journalistic decision. I have a very aggressive and persistent personality. Trust me, I wanted to give every detail the goalkeeper herself had reported but I played it safe.

I am employed by Ohio State and if their own athletic department was not reporting on this topic, how could I? Some day, I will be the type of reporter to report everything I know, well received or not. But as a journalism student I feel as though I don’t have that freedom.

Should I have challenged that freedom? Maybe. I had never been put in this type of situation before and I wanted to make the best decision I could at the time. It was made very clear to remain tight-lipped about the situation and I decided to listen to that request. I don’t know why I did, and I hope I never do that again. But as a student, it just seemed right.

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