Journalism Showcase

ESPN’s “Journalism Showcase” – June 16, 2017

Will Reeve sits with Cincinnati pitcher Michael Lorenzen. (Mike Farrell/ESPN)

This Sunday, reporter Will Reeve will make his E:60 debut with his story “The Perfect Moment,” an in-depth profile of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.

Reeve will join host Jeremy Schaap in studio to further discuss the Lorenzen story and remember his own father, Christopher Reeve.

Reeve was able to connect to his subject on a far deeper level than most reporters, and that connection is evident throughout the piece.

“Though we’ve had different lives, we’ve lived a lot of the same things and that can’t be discounted. I think that him knowing that I was someone his age, who had experienced similar loss, was important to him and to me,” Reeve said. “Anytime that you get to explore a life experience you’ve had with someone else as your subject, it’s always going to be meaningful and I think I related to Mike just by saying, ‘Hey man, we’ve been through a lot of the same stuff. Let’s talk about it.’”

Although Lorenzen’s comfort level with Reeve played a role in his ability to open up and share his story, Reeve gives credit to those who helped guide him in the interview process.

“I have to give ultimate credit to producer Mike Farrell who was with me and John Sawatsky who is kind of ‘the godfather of the interview,’” he said. “Just taking cues from them in terms of letting things breathe with asking open, neutral, and lean questions.”

For those who aren’t familiar with Sawatsky’s interview training, he has spent many years studying interviews and teaches his students how to get the most out of an interview based on the types of questions they ask. But at the end of the day it’s no secret that the best interviewers are good listeners and that’s what Reeve put his focus on.

“I was there to hear his story and to let him explore his emotions,” Reeve said. “It was my job to be professional and to also be there for him. I was just a willing listener and a contemporary who knows what it feels like.”

Reeve has interviewed countless athletes but Lorenzen is one that has left a lasting impression. When discussing what made Lorenzen such an interesting subject Reeve said: “his introspection and his self-assessment. He’s worked through a lot of this.

“I think that his willingness to go anywhere within his own emotional self was unique and rare and specific to this story,” Reeve said. “If I was interviewing him about his fast ball it’d be different. His willing vulnerability really made an impact on me and made an impact on the overall story.”

Will Reeve reflects on his E:60 debut on Father’s Day

Reporter Will Reeve reflects on his first E:60 on Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen, on sharing a set with Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap, and his own father’s influence on his daily life.

“We all want to make our fathers and our parents proud in all that we do. I know my dad would be proud of me pursuing and achieving my dream but he’d be imploring me to keep grinding and to keep trying to get better at my job,” Reeve said. “I feel fortunate to have his value set and work ethic and I’d like to think his ability to write and tell a story. If I can utilize those tools here at ESPN for a long time that will hopefully make me successful and make him proud.”

As for working on E:60 Reeve says he’s admired the people who’ve worked on the storytelling brand for a long time.

E:60 to me is the pinnacle of what we do and what we are capable of doing here at ESPN,” he said. “To get the chance to work with some of these people and to show this amazing story on such a great platform, especially in its new form with Jeremy and Bob on Father’s Day no less, is one I won’t soon forget.”

Reeve’s E:60, “The Perfect Moment,” will air this Father’s Day at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.

“I hope that if viewers are lucky enough to have a dad still walking on this earth, that they’ll give him a hug or give him a call, that’s what I hope people get out of this piece because in a blink of an eye it can all change forever.”

– By Molly Mita

Journalism on Display

  • Sunday’s SC Featured segment on SportsCenter will tell the inspiring story of two-time cancer survivor, Sean Swarner, who despite health challenges has completed the Explorer’s Grand Slam: reaching the tops of the Seven Summits and visiting the South and North Poles. “True North” will debut in the 10 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on Sunday, June 18, and will re-air in other editions of the program throughout the day.
  • As Dustin Johnson defends his title in the U.S. Open at Wisconsin’s Erin Hills course, ESPN.com’s Ian O’Connor goes deep into Johnson’s improbable rise to the world’s No. 1 player, from a confident South Carolina country boy to what some believe to be the most physically-gifted player ever.
  • ESPN The Magazine’s Béisbol Experience Issue, on newsstands today, includes a long-form feature “The Lost Prospects of Cuba,” in which investigative reporter Scott Eden, in collaboration with E:60, shares the untold story of baseball players who are smuggled out of Cuba in hopes of making an MLB club. Unable to land with a team and unable to return home, many become outcasts and refugees.
  • Two pieces of note involving the NBA champion Golden State Warriors: on ESPN.com, senior writer Ramona Shelburne writes that to reach their potential, the Warriors had to own their identity. And on TheUndefeated.com, Marc J. Spears writes that the closest circle of Kevin Durant, the NBA Finals MVP, could not be more proud of the first-time champion.
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