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Dec 7 / Michael Prunka

How the Sportswriting Internship broadened my skill set

Michael PrunkaUnlike many of my fellow Bleacher Report writers, I didn’t grow up as much of a sports fan. I don’t consider the WWE to be a sport, so the NHL was about the extent of my sports knowledge.

I joined B/R in December 2011 as a WWE writer after B/R Featured Columnist John Canton had given me the inspiration to write about wrestling in my free time. I’d followed his work religiously and had always loved the idea about writing about the WWE.

Before long, I branched out and wrote about the NHL for the first time. I had fun with it and jumped right into contributing to the Washington Capitals section, covering events like the NHL Winter Classic and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I became a WWE Featured Columnist in February and decided the next logical step in my career with B/R was to apply for the Sportswriting Internship. I was accepted for the Fall term, so that I could cover the NHL, though thanks to the lockout, that hasn’t worked out as I’d hoped.

One of the best things the internship has provided me with is the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and expand my horizons.

The on-call days have given me that chance. I’ve never been into sports other than hockey, but I was presented with the challenge of covering football, soccer and baseball. With the appropriate amount of research, I was able to write articles I was proud of.

I’ve already gained a portfolio I’m happy with after a short time in the program, and not only have I proved to future employers that I’m capable of covering a multitude of sports—I’ve proved it to myself.

And let’s be honest: I wouldn’t get very far as a sports journalist strictly covering WWE and NHL.

I’m only a sophomore journalism student but I’ve already made great strides in my career. Completing three assignments on deadline and two on-call assignments each week has helped give me an insight into the ethics and professionalism of the business.

The feedback I’ve received has also helped my writing immensely. My Feedback Editor, Nick Houser, and I have been working closely to emphasize my strengths and improve my weaknesses. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to write a strong lead.

The reads and medals on my B/R profile are nice, but they can only take me so far. The internship has given me valuable experience and all the tools to continue growing as a writer.

In less than a year, I’ve gone from covering the WWE and NHL exclusively to becoming a more versatile and talented writer than I could have imagined. I have the B/R Sportswriting Internship to thank for that.

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Michael Prunka is a WWE Featured Columnist and member of the Sportswriting Internship’s Fall class. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelPrunka