Behind The Scenes

Eight of the most impactful pieces from ESPN’s storytellers in 2018

Here are a few of Front Row's favorite stories behind the stories from the weekly Journalism Showcase

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman speaks at Larry Nassar’s sentencing.

As we look back on the incredible impact ESPN journalists have made in the last year, Front Row pulled together a list of eight of our favorite showcases from 2018, in no particular order.

Investigative reporter John Barr describes his experience inside the courtroom as he listens to Larry Nassar victims give their impact statements.

ESPN’s “Journalism Showcase” – January 19, 2018

Reporter Tom Rinaldi discusses what he’s learned from Purdue fan Tyler Trent while covering his story.

“Tyler’s strength, his faith, his fandom and his sense of humor are all remarkable.”

Reporter Sarah Spain shares how she kept Deland McCullough’s story a secret before it shocked the world on E:60.

Keeping McCullough story secret was key for Spain’s riveting, incredible E:60 piece

How ESPN’s “SC Featured” helped Pratima Sherpa golf with Tiger Woods.

Nepal’s pioneering golfer now counts Tiger as a fan

Senior writer Jackie MacMullan discusses her five-part series on the state of mental health in the NBA.

“The message is clear: Rich, successful people are not immune to mental health problems.”

Producer Tonya Malinowski describes her dual role of writing for and producing video for the “Bonds Of Earth” E:60 story.

E:60: How a Soccer Ball Survived a National Tragedy and Completed Space Mission 31 Years Later

Investigative reporter Tisha Thompson shares her experience with murder-for-hire stories and the approach she takes when dealing with these complicated topics.

E:60 Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson No Stranger to Murder-for-Hire Stories

Producer Dan Arruda discusses what intrigued him about a man on a running mission for cancer awareness.

Iowa Man Finds Solace Running Routes for Childhood Cancer Patients

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more incredible storytelling from ESPN be sure to check out the entries on Chartbeat’s Top 120 most engaging stories of the year. scored six stories on the list, including the top sports entry and the most entries on the list overall from a sports site. Seth Wickersham, Bill Barnwell, Matthew Berry and (three citations) represent ESPN on the list.

– Molly Mita


1. Monday Night Football ends the year with the AFC West showdown between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders on Monday, Dec. 24 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.

2. ESPN has a lineup of NBA games all day on Christmas Day beginning with the Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks at noon ET and ending with the Portland Trailblazers vs. Utah Jazz at 10:30 p.m.

3. Bowl Games continue with a great lineup on Wednesday, Dec. 26 beginning with the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl between Boston College and Boise State at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN followed by the Quick Lane Bowl between Minnesota and Georgia Tech at 5:15 p.m. and capping off the day with the Cheez-It-Bowl between California and TCU at 9 p.m.

4. College Football Playoff Semifinals: coverage begins Thursday, Dec. 27 from Arlington and Miami ahead of the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame will be played at 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 29 followed by the Capital One Orange Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma at 8 p.m.

– Molly Mita

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