Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#CSUDH Bulletin - Rite of Passage pt 3: Express Yourself With Originality

The right to freedom of speech and expression is granted to all citizens of the United States in the first amendment of the Constitution. It is the dearest of all written passages and most important for journalists. What it means is you can say whatever you want as long as you aren't committing libel.

Ask yourself this question, "Why would anyone want to read what I write or listen to what I have to say?" If the answer is because you think it's interesting, then by all means, share your thoughts or findings with the rest of the world, especially if it's never been said before. Even if the information is already out in the atmosphere, put your own twist on it by finding a different angle and go from there.

Many times, we think of ideas that we want to share but when the time comes, we forget about it. One solution is to utilize your smart phone by jotting your thought down in some notes or put it out there on social media. Using social media accomplishes two things: 1) You can easily retrieve what you put out there and expand up on it 2) Others will possibly interact with you and help spark additional thoughts; you can even use what they said in your article but make sure to always give credit when it's due.

After your article is completed, make sure you share it with someone to check for mistakes. Every story needs at least two pairs of eyes on it because you know what it is supposed to say, therefore there's a good chance you might overlook a typo while reading it. When the inspection is finished, publish it, an share it across as many social media platforms as possible. If you're feeling really good about what you wrote and excited, by all means tag folks or directly tweet it to them, flood the the damn timeline every hour.

I wrote a first-of-its-kind basketball article a while back, in hindsight, the writing wasn't all that great, but since it was original and thoroughly researched, I was proud of my work and spread it all over the place. It eventually caught the eye of a well-respected Fred Roggin and he shared it to his followers, then NBC shared it. I couldn't believe what had transpired, and to top it off, the man thanked me "for writing something original." That sentiment gave me all the confidence in the world to know I belong and can make it in this field.

If there is something you want to say, there's no better way to say it than in your own voice. Emulation will only take you so far. People will tune in because it is you, so do you. I live by the words I heard in a Roots song, "Never do, what they do, what they do, what they do."

Sunday, March 13, 2016

#CSUDH Bulletin - Rite of Passage pt 2: From the Top

Breaking into the media industry can be difficult, especially if nobody knows who you are, but it will be even more difficult if you do not have a body of work to represent you and showcase your skills. As I mentioned in the initial entry of this series, the key to success and the reason for me being in position to get the clips (the work a journalist have completed) I have has been networking.
So, let me tell you my story from the top. You have probably heard the phrase, “It is not about what you know but who you know.” Well, let me share with you a new twist to that, which was shared with me just recently. My photographer friend, Benita West, told me it was less important to know someone but rather your achievements are determined by who knows you. Essentially, that is what networking is all about. Sure, I’ve met Usher Raymond and know him through strong family ties, but that doesn’t mean he would recommend that I write another artist’s bio or press release because he really doesn’t know me.

A few years ago, I signed up for twitter and commenced to begin sports dialog with anyone who was interested. After a while, I amassed a large following and eventually one of my followers, who was popular among “basketball twitter,” asked me to write a blog entry for her website; the article was well-received. Later, I found out someone who I was interacting with – an ESPN blogger – was the younger brother of one of my high school friends, we decided to meet in person over sushi. After a long conversation about basketball, he suggested that I start a blog and offered to help me start it; in addition, he provided initial promotion.

Just establishing a relationship via networking will not do you any good if your material is boring or if you are not good at what you do. So what I suggest is to put on your thinking cap and do something that no one else is doing. In my case, I wrote about something that nobody else had before and the piece garnered me invitations to guest appear on different podcasts to talk about the subject; the appearances would lead to me having my own podcast. The article idea, however, came from having a conversation on twitter. I will share the story surrounding the article in my next entry. But it all comes down back to networking.

The only way to be good at anything is by practicing it. This certainly is true for writing and podcasting. Try to write about something every day, even if you have no intentions of publishing it. Put together something with at least 250 words. Then when you do that, read it line by line to check for errors. After that, share it with a friend and get some feedback.

If you choose to record a podcast, create an outline first then record and listen to yourself afterward. Listening to yourself will help you gauge what areas you need to work, whether if you need to work on your pace, cadence, or making sure you have good flow, self-checking will help you grow stronger and more confident. If broadcasting is your end goal, recording podcasts is the best way to sharpen your skill.

If you have any questions about what you’ve read, just contact me on Twitter @SpitsGame.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

#CSUDH Bulletin - Rite of Passage pt 1

It has been almost a year and a half since this blog has been active. Well, the wait is over! My professor asked me to share my experiences and give advice in hopes it will provide insight to my fellow and younger classmates.

I have, however, been doing a lot of writing and podcasting for other sites. I'm back here because it's a requirement for my school's online student newspaper. So from now until the end of May, all original material you see here is for the purpose of enlightening readers about my journey toward becoming a paid media professional, hopefully.

The key to reaching all of the heights I have has been networking. That will be the keyword in all of my future posts in this series. Talent will only take you so far, you have to be able to communicate with people and sell yourself or your story. But in the end, it's all about doing good work and putting in hard work.

Enough of the tutorial, for now. Below is a list of some things I have done for other publications:

  • The Pick and Roll - writer and NBA editor
  • OpinioNation - blogger
  • Sideline Pops and Blacktops - podcast for OpinioNation
  • Samsung Las Vegas NBA Summer League - media credentials for The Pick and Roll
  • Lakers and Clippers home games - media credentials for The Pick and Roll
  • NGSC West Recess - podcast for NGSC Sports
  • NFLPA Bowl - media credentials for Pro Player Insiders
  • NBA All-Star Game - media credentials for The Pick and Roll
  • CSUDH Bulletin - print edition Staff Writer
  • BallisLife High School All-American Game - media credentials for The Pick and Roll
  • Fantasy Football Addicts Support Group - podcast for NGSC Sports
  • Super Bowl - media credentials for Pro Player Insiders (everything but the game)
  • CSUDH Bulletin - online Staff writer and copy editor for both editions
I didn't even mention the social media work I have done on behalf of the above companies, which is very important. Remember... NETWORK!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

NFL Brain Dump - For The Birds

Week 3 of the NFL season didn't provide fans much as far excitement goes; it pretty much was for the birds. Among the 32 franchises that comprise the NFL, five of them are nicknamed after a particular species of birds. All five - Falcons, Ravens, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Eagles - earned themselves a victory in week 3; in this sense, we can definitely say that last week was for the birds.

Both of these birds reached the end zone against the Redskins.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Paper Pigskin - Good Game Week 3

Start them and sit them, let's go!


Everybody always wants to know which guy they should put into their fantasy football lineup.  Generally, if you draft someone via a high pick, you want them to be your lead dog to just plug and leave in. However, there are some cases that you might want to avoid an elite defense that will give you trouble; the same thing goes for wanting to exploit a terrible defense. I don't subscribe to the "Never sit your studs" philosophy. Draft well, do the work, and exploit plus matchups.

Big Ben needs to take a seat in fantasy lineups this week.