During the First Four tournament games Wednesday, March 15, University of Dayton Magazine student writer Bridget Lally met with a sports reporter in the media room at UD Arena to learn more about what motivates journalists.
Jonas Pope IV grew up watching and playing sports. And then …
“My 10th-grade English teacher told me I’m a good writer and that I should go into journalism,” said Pope, a beat writer for The Herald-Sun. “I knew I didn’t want to cover news, but sports instead.”
Deadlines are stressful, but he enjoys the perks of being able to get paid to watch sports — something he says he would be doing regardless of his career.
In the profession for 10 years now, Pope says that one of the most meaningful aspects of the job is the chance to build relationships with other people.
“Whether it is a student-athlete, parent or coach, I appreciate getting to know them as people,” Pope said. “I like that I can run into the athletic director in the hallway and talk, man-to-man. Nothing about sports, just a general conversation. Relationships are important.”
Since Pope has been covering the North Carolina Central University basketball team, he has built strong relationships with the team and gets emotional knowing that for the seniors, Wednesday’s game was it.
“Central had seven seniors, and now tonight, this is it,” Pope said. “I see the human element of it. I can see it on their faces. It makes me sad to think and talk about it.”
NCCU lost to UC Davis 67-63 on March 15.