Courtesy of Nicole Blum
An avid sports fan, senior Nicole Blum follows news about the Blackhawks and White Sox on Bleacher Report, an online sports site. Now, however, she is writing for the website instead of just reading it and has earned an award after her story received 1,000 hits.
Although Bleacher Report is a professionally adult-run company, they offer writing positions to teenagers. Blum noticed this and took advantage of the opportunity. “I put out opinionated articles for Bleacher Report. It’s been really fun. It’s pretty much independent work [with the exception of editing].”
Because the website publishes articles about a broad spectrum of sports, Blum can choose any sport or team to write about. Despite her freedom of subjects, she said, “I focus on hockey.” She currently spends her time writing about the Chicago Blackhawks. When hockey season ends, she plans to focus on baseball. “I’ll write for the White Sox in the summer,” said Blum.
Blum does not get paid for her contributor position. However, she finds enough satisfaction in writing to not need monetary payment. “I feel very privileged just to be able to get my name out there.” (Note: Bleacher Report does offer some paid positions through its Feature Columnist program.
Blum has a flexible writing schedule, as long as she publishes her pieces consistently. However, looser timeframes can be a struggle as much as a privilege, as it differs from traditional journalism deadlines. “I publish my articles usually around 12 o’clock at night. Just being able to sit down and write, without having anything else to do is kind of hard to find.” With a busy schedule and rigorous schoolwork, limitations of time arise as Blum’s biggest challenge.
Nonetheless, she conquers that, and the results outweigh any challenges. She values the opportunity to experience the journalism field that Bleacher Report has provided for her. “Since I’ve gotten this position, it’s definitely made me care more about sports writing. I think of writing ideas while I’m watching games, which is weird to think about because usually during sports I’m just watching to watch.” Writing for Bleacher Report has allowed Blum to experience an entirely new perspective of sports.
Because she has enjoyed the opportunities and new experiences with Bleacher Report so far, Blum hopes to continue writing in the future. “I hope to do it through college. I’m not sure if I want to be a [professional] sportswriter; that’s in the back of my mind. My ideal career would be a sports broadcaster, but I’m majoring in biology, so I might end up double majoring in biology and journalism if possible.” Regardless of what she chooses to do, Blum appreciates and embraces her experiences with Bleacher Report so far.