Grady Sports student named to Sports Journalism Institute Class of 2016

Damian Reynolds, a senior digital and broadcast journalism major who is also earning a Grady Sports Media Certificate, is one of 12 college students nationwide named to the Sports Journalism Institute (SJI) Class of 2016.

A nine-week training and internship program for college students interested in sports journalism careers, the SJI aims to enhance racial and gender diversity in sports departments, according to the program’s website.  The application process is competitive; candidates are selected on the basis of academic achievement, demonstrated interest in sports journalism as a career and excellence on the required essay.

“I know the program will be intense, and intensity is exactly what I need, especially in this profession,” said Reynolds, who will be interning at ESPN following the SJI’s residency week at the University of Missouri School of Journalism May 27 through June 3.

Reynolds decided to apply for the SJI on the recommendation of his friend and fellow Grady Sports student, Jaylon Thompson, who participated in the program last summer with an internship at the Houston Chronicle.

“SJI helped me tremendously,” Thompson reflected. “Before I got into the program, I didn't know how to write to engage a reader. With SJI, I learned how to write from the reader's point of view. I learned to let the words tell a story instead of just presenting a statement or facts. I think I am prepared, as I am now a storyteller and not just a writer.

“My most rewarding experience was the networking that I was able to receive,” continued Thompson, a junior digital and broadcast journalism major. “I think that networking is so important as people will believe in your work and vouch for you.”

Reynolds is looking forward to the networking opportunities and hands-on experience that he’ll gain in the SJI.

“I have so much more to learn,” Reynolds said.  “I'm just getting started and finally starting to understand this journalism thing. However, every situation comes with a new set of challenges. I look forward to learning from professionals in the business who I know will help me be more well-rounded.”

Date: January 25, 2016
Author:  Stephanie Moreno,