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Apr 26 / Joshua Axelrod

If they’re commenting, you’re doing something right

Joshua AxelrodIf there is one thing I’ve learned so far from the B/R Sports Media Internship, it’s that sportswriting takes a thick skin.

There are lots of topics in this world that can elicit thought-provoking, passionate responses without much effort. It happens all the time with politics, religion, entertainment, etc.

Sports might trump all of them when it comes to producing some of the most heated debates around, especially on the Internet.

Case in point: the 61 venom-filled comments I garnered after posting an article about why the Los Angeles Lakers should trade Kobe Bryant.

I live for the emotionally charged reader reactions. If something I write can spark a response with that much passion (whether it’s fueled by contempt or appreciation), it means I am clearly doing something right.

For every troll there is, there is also someone making a legitimate point. These are the rational, coherent people who just want to present another side of the argument. They are the ones who keep me honest and make me even more conscientious of presenting clear, well-reasoned cases.

Constructive feedback not only helps me grow as a writer, it starts an intelligent conversation. Inspiring a dialogue is just about the greatest accomplishment a sports journalist can achieve, and I love that I have the opportunity to do that with every article I publish on Bleacher Report.

I want to know how the things I write make someone think and feel. The comments I receive—the good, bad and the trolls—let me know that A) people are reading my stuff and B) people care enough to take the time to reply to me.

I will take that compliment and roll with it.

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 Joshua Axelrod is an intern in the Spring class. Follow him on Twitter @jaxel222.


One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask our interns to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned in the B/R Sports Media Internship that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.

  • Michael Prunka

    I got similar responses when I wrote that the Penguins should consider trading Kris Letang. Love it.