Journalism lessons I learned from Steve Kerr

Journalism lessons I learned from Steve Kerr

By Aaron Rose

I opened my email Sunday afternoon and noticed an email from Professor J.A. Adande with the subject line, “Steve Kerr alert.”

It never ceases to amaze me when I get these kinds of emails from Medill. For one class, LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke Skyped in to talk about covering the Olympics. Last quarter, Trevor Noah came and chatted with graduate and undergraduate students about today’s social and political climate. Now, it was seven-time NBA Champion and Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr who joined us for a casual lunch meeting.

His primary message was succinct: never let click-baiting overtake the importance of quality journalism.

“There is a sense that it’s more important to generate ratings than it is to create stories of substance, which is unfortunate,” Kerr told the class. “It’s not just the NBA, it’s also the society we live in.”

For those trying to break into the sports media, he reminded us that making meaningful connections is the key to success.

“I think it’s important for young journalists to establish those relationships as best you can to establish trust,” he said.

Having dealt with both great success and devastation, Kerr told us to learn from our mistakes, and then move on.

While he is up-to-date on all the latest social media trends, Kerr confessed he could do without Twitter.

“In a lot of ways, this is where we’re getting into a lot of trouble as a country,” he said. “People are just destroying each other behind the keyboard.”

He chatted briefly about coaching the Golden State Warriors and his outlook on the season, but ultimately it was his advice regarding the sports media that was the most meaningful.

Follow Aaron Rose on Twitter at @AaronBenRose