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New York Times reporter speaks at Olscamp

For New York Times reporter Lynn Zinser, reporting is a constant learning process.

Last night at the annual Currier Lecture sponsored by the Office of Residence Life and the department of journalism, Zinser spoke of her experiences as a sports reporter and gave advice on the success of reporting.

Beginning her experience in journalism at Syracuse University, Zinser had hopes of becoming a star political writer, but soon found that her real niche was in the world of sports. It was there where she found writing came naturally to her and something that excited her.

One reason why Zinser found sports so exciting was the variety of stories to cover, and because she admired the way many athletes consistently strive to improve.

Though some reporters go into sports writing seeking fame and careers with ESPN, Zinser was never in it for the money.

“If you know you’re not going to be rich and famous then you’re in the right line of work,” Zinser said.

Zinser also addressed another misconception of sports reporting. She said sports writing isn’t just about going to the games, describing who wins and the action of the game. Through her years of sports reporting she has found that one is not in the sports industry, but the news industry. It is there where the articles form and the reporters go to work.

“She [Zinser] sees herself as a writer first and foremost,” said Victoria Ekstrand, an assistant professor in the department of journalism.

During her speech Zinser emphasized to the audience that as a reporter one should not strive to be liked but instead, strive to be respected. It is important to go in with an open mind and to always remain fair.

In the world of reporting someone will always be mad, but as the reporter he or she has to know how to handle it and be confident in the article. Reporters must know they did the best they could, it is there Zinser said a reporter can grow and earn respect. After all, the core values of journalism are always needed; it depends on the role of the reporter to present them while bringing life to the story.

Zinser also focused on the much too quick reactions of the media. As a reporter she emphasized the importance of taking the time to gather the news, claiming credibility is hurt when the reporter fails to take the time for the facts.

“To do well it takes diligence and hard work,” said Zinser.

Zinser gained her experience after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in newspaper journalism from Syracuse University. She then went on to write for seven different newspapers including the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Philadelphia Daily News. She currently reports for The New York Times since August of 2003. During her career she has reported on the primary Olympics and been a New York Giants beat reporter.

Megan Dixon, freshman journalism major, said she appreciated Zinser’s passion for her career.

Zinser closed her speech by emphasizing her passion for writing: “I am a journalist at heart, what I happen to cover is sports.”

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