ESPN vice president discusses the evolving world of sports journalism on campus


    Sports journalism is an evolving industry that is as popular as ever, one ESPN executive said in an address to students.

    Rob King, the vice president of digital and print media at ESPN, spoke about the direction of sports journalism, as well as gave students a glimpse into how ESPN thinks in terms of hiring in an address Thursday afternoon in Moudy South.

    Many students fear that the sports journalism field is an impossible one to get into, King told students.

    “Fear not,” King, a graduate of Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conn., said.

    King, who also attended Penn State as a grad student, said there is no other subject like sports that stirs our emotion and creates interest.

    While sports journalism is not impossible to get into, the ones that put in the work, and can identify trends, are the ones that “stick and stay,” King said.

    King emphasized audience expectation; he said consumers will always expect you to take your product to the next level.

    He highlighted the explosion of social networking as the latest trend that ESPN has adapted to, so that they can better serve their audience.

    It is these expectations, and constant forward thinking, that makes King look for students that are purposeful in what they do.

    King used the sports analogy of “making every possession count," and said that you don’t have to wait on a paycheck to start on your path towards the career of your choice.

    Realizing your own tendencies when it comes to searching, and consuming news, is also key, King said.

    When you realize what people are searching for, and how they are doing so, you can create “doorways” for your audience, King explained.

    Before coming to ESPN, King worked for the newspapers Louisville Courier-Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer, and he emphasized students to be open about everything they do.

    “I started out just wanting to be a cartoonist,” King said. “I had no idea that I would have the job I do now.”

    Whatever your career aspirations are; King asked to students to not forget that it is a journey.

    “It’s going to work out,” King said. “You just don’t know it yet.

    This story was corrected to show that King spoke to current TCU students on Thursday.