The Dallas Stars Foundation held its annual High School Media Day this past Friday, as students from area high schools gathered in Frisco to watch a Stars’ morning practice at Dr Pepper Arena. Following the open practice, students participated in a panel discussion with members of the local television, radio and sports media, as well as players from the Dallas Stars Hockey Team.
This year’s media panel included John Rhadigan of Fox Sports Southwest and Stars’ head coach Marc Crawford, who spent the 2008-09 season as a color analyst for Hockey Night in Canada. Dallas Stars broadcaster Ralph Strangis emceed this program as well as shared valuable advice as to the skills one needs to acquire in order to be successful in the industry.
The Dallas Stars Foundation created High School Media Day in order to provide an opportunity for students aspiring to pursue a sports journalism career an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the world of sports media. High School Media Day not only provides students with the opportunity to establish valuable contacts with prominent members of the local sports media industry, but also allows students an interactive environment in which they can listen and learn from individuals who have found significant success in the business of sports media.
Strangis, who is currently in his 20th season with the Stars, has earned three Lone Star Emmy’s, a Dallas Press Club Katie and four Associated Press awards for his on-air work. He stressed the need for potential journalists to be well rounded and be knowledgeable in more than one field of communication. “Know how to write and produce, or write and edit” because “good writers are good communicators,” Strangis said.
The sports media industry is a multi-faceted field and one of the most exciting and difficult businesses to break in to. Job opportunities in this profession are extremely competitive, so it’s imperative for applicants to obtain real-life advice from some of the best in the business.
Both Strangis and Rhadigan urged students to get ahead by taking advantage of opportunities now in order to gain practical experience for the real world. They explained that internships are important because not only do they allow interns to make connections for jobs in the future, but they give individuals practical experience necessary in the business. “Experience trumps everything,” Strangis said.
Panel participants shared their stories, trials and tribulations on what it takes to become a successful sports journalist in the fields of radio, print and broadcast media. The panel took questions from the audience and offered helpful advice to all those interested in a career in sports journalism. Also joining the panel were Dallas Stars forward Brian Sutherby and defensemen Mark Fistric
and Jeff Woywitka. The players provided the audience with their personal accounts, stories and working relationships with the media.
This year’s High School Media Day hosted over 60 students and teachers from area high schools. Each student who attended was encouraged to write an article on this experience for his/her school newspaper. This year’s winner will join the Stars and the Foundation staff in the press box at American Airlines Center press box during a Dallas Stars home game, where he or she will get a firsthand look at sports journalism in action. Articles are due March 10.