espnW intern lands interview with ex-Penn State kicker, scores OTL spot
It’s not every day one makes their national TV debut on ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
For espnW intern Emily Caron, that day was yesterday, as she sat across from fill-in OTL anchor Kate Fagan to discuss Caron’s article on former Penn State kicker Joey Julius’ battle with an eating disorder. The story debuted on espnW.com yesterday.
Caron pitched the story directly to her espnW editors earlier this summer, but she was unable to get access to Julius at that time.
However, when it was announced the former kicker was no longer with the Penn State program, Caron reached out to Julius on Twitter and was able to set up an interview for the next day.
“Pretty soon into the interview, I realized this story was going to be a lot bigger than just his eating disorder, which he’s talked about publicly,” she said. “After that, it was a whirlwind of reporting, interview after interview and fact checking, so it was crazy last week.”
Early Monday morning, Caron, a University of Virginia senior majoring in Media Studies and Linguistics, was asked by her W editor, Laura Marcinek, if she’d be interested in being a guest on OTL to discuss the piece.
Caron’s initial reaction was disbelief. The rest was a whirlwind of hair and makeup, mental preparation and letting her family know of the day’s developments.
“We were sitting there on set getting ready, and Kate was like ‘So you’ve never done this before on ESPN, right?’ And I was like, ‘I’ve never done this before ever,’” Caron said. “Kate was like ‘Surely you’ve done this at your school or something, right?’ I said ‘Nope, I literally only write.’”
Fagan helped in easing Caron’s nerves. Caron’s mom and siblings FaceTimed each other from different locales as they excitedly watched the interview.
Yes!! Also, sidenote: Emily is our intern. And she was on @OTLonESPN yesterday talking about this piece. Rock. Star. !!! https://t.co/XnSD0XWaWK
— Alison Overholt (@alisonoverholt) August 1, 2017
“I got a ton of SnapChats of people being like, ‘Wait, you’re on my TV???’,” Caron said. “It was pretty surreal.”
Caron said her work on reporting this story has been her proudest moment as an ESPN intern.
“EspnW has been awesome, and I’ve gotten to do some really cool stuff and write a lot of pieces, but this is by far the most significant story I’ve ever done,” she said. “When we realized how big the story was, I asked if they wanted a feature writer with more experience doing this, and they said ‘No, it’s all you.’”
“Since we had just done a big package on women athletes and body image, this felt like a story that would continue that conversation,” said espnW deputy editor Jenn Holmes.
“It’s not only women who deal with these issues. We consulted with the [ESPN] college football digital team, who put us in touch with Penn State. They weren’t making Julius available for interviews, so Emily held off. But when Julius abruptly left the team last week, we decided to try again . . .
“OTL’s producers reached out to [espnW senior editor] Laura Marcinek, who facilitated. We let them know Emily was our intern – e.g., did not have a lot of on-camera experience, but she did great!” – Tara Chozet
University of North Carolina graduate Nicole Caporaso is the ESPN Communications 2017 Summer Intern. Read more of her Front Row work, including the 2017 Intern Chronicles series, here.