Behind The ScenesNFL

Shadowing an NFL beat reporter enhances appreciation for the job

Leanne Cozart's piece for NFL Nation. (ESPN)
A screen grab of Leanne Cozart’s post for NFL Nation. (ESPN)

Editor’s note: Leanne Cozart works for ESPN’s Creative Services, helping produce graphics, animation, and other on-air elements for the network. She also has experience working for the NFL and Arena Football. She writes about her experience job shadowing ESPN New York reporter Jane McManus for a day.

From the day I started working at ESPN back in August, I’ve been eager to learn as much as I can about the company. Something I discovered early is that there are ample opportunities to experience different things. Having done some football writing as an intern with the Oakland Raiders and Arena Football League, I was eager to shadow someone at ESPN who reports on the NFL. After several informational meetings and doing some networking within the company, I was fortunate to connect with ESPN New York reporter Jane McManus.

I corresponded with Jane and we picked a date for me to shadow her at the New York Jets facility. I drove from Connecticut to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in New Jersey and met Jane. She was kind enough to share her day on the job as an ESPN NFL beat writer.

After observing practice, she conducted player interviews and then covered head coach Rex Ryan’s news conference. Then the real work began. The toughest part of the job is facing a deadline as you pour yourself into research, transcribing and creating a story.

I gained a lot of valuable knowledge from Jane. She took me through the reporting steps, from formulating story angles to creating the final story. The one common thread amongst the media and the Jets players and staff was a passion for their roles. It was easy to see why.

Covering a team in the nation’s biggest media market is something I’ll never forget. A memorable experience like this will help me navigate my future.

Read Leanne Cozart’s report for the Jets NFL Nation blog here.

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