My most meaningful professional accomplishment to date has been receiving a first-place award for a project by the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star’s sports staff about young people playing sports and the seriousness of concussions.
The multimedia project, “Fear of Football,” was published in 2012 and won first place in 2013 from the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association in the Division A sports feature category. The project consisted of several articles that dealt with the many facets of people who are involved in sports, including young people and their parents, coaches, doctors, athletic directors and trainers. All these people had something to say about concussions among youths under age 18.
Our entire department – at the time, four writers and a sports editor – was involved in the project. It took three to four months to complete as we continued to fulfill our daily duties.
I wrote a piece and also produced a video interview with youths and parents about their thoughts on concussions. The biggest challenge in reporting the story was the time it took to interview all the sources. It was definitely a fun piece to write because I liked the subject matter and because I had the youth angle; my piece was the most highlighted piece of the project.
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