When the Arizona Diamondbacks made their unexpected run to the World Series, Cronkite students seized the opportunity to cover fall’s biggest sporting event.
The students provided game coverage both in and outside of Chase Field, attended press conferences and other events, and interviewed fans, players and key figures associated with the Diamondbacks and the local sports scene. They produced numerous print, digital and video stories for the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau, a multiplatform newsroom that allows students to cover major sporting events in Phoenix, and serve other media outlets covering the Series.
Cronkite graduate student Jonah Krell interviewed former Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo, who led the group of investors that bought the fledgling franchise in 1994, and former player Tony Womack, who played on the 2001 championship team.
“It’s fascinating to be part of the broader coverage effort and contribute to our comprehensive content surrounding the games. As an Arizonan, the experience of interviewing Colangelo and Womack was, quite honestly, surreal, given their significant impact on our community,” Krell said. “It’s been remarkable to witness the Diamondbacks’ ability to ignite passion and genuine support from their fans during this World Series. This energy is powerful and unifying.”
Graduate students Jordy Fee-Platt and Trey Matthews also covered the Series. The Dallas Morning News hired Fee-Platt to provide on-the-field coverage while Matthews delivered broadcast news reports from outside the stadium.
The Dallas Morning News contacted the Cronkite School to find a reporter who could assist with coverage of the Series and provide insight from the Diamondbacks perspective. Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau Director and Professor of Practice Paola Boivin recommended Fee-Platt for the job.
Fee-Platt wrote three stories and documented his experience on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he shared photographs and videos of press conferences and showed followers what it’s like to have access to the field.
“I wanted to give readers and followers a glimpse of this incredible field access; it is a rare opportunity. I aimed to capture the essence of the event not just in writing but also through visual media, not only for The Dallas Morning News but also for my records and to showcase the potential opportunities the Cronkite school can provide in such situations,” he said.
Some of Fee-Platt’s most memorable moments occurred when he was on the field for the Texas Rangers championship celebration and secured a one-on-one interview with Rangers pitcher Josh Sborz, who secured the last outs of the Series.
“Afterward, I entered the clubhouse, where the customary champagne and beer spray celebration was in full swing, as is tradition in such moments. It is a dream come true, and I relish every moment,” he said.
Matthews provided updates from outside the stadium, attended events and visited various locations with his camera to showcase fan engagement and experiences.
“It’s heartwarming to witness the community uniting, especially considering they didn’t expect to reach that stage,” Matthews said.
Matthews has covered other major sporting events, including the MLB playoffs, Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NASCAR Championship, and even a Super Bowl press conference. He is also a credentialed media member for the New Jersey Devils and hosts a hockey podcast featuring notable hockey players as guests.
“It’s crucial to understand the team’s narrative and storyline beyond just recapping the games. This way, I can provide a more engaging and insightful report that revolves around the specific narrative, making the coverage more engaging and informative for the audience,” he said.
Although Matthews usually focuses on hockey, he wanted to explore other areas of sports coverage and expand his horizons, he said.
“Covering a baseball team, especially during their Cinderella run, was the perfect way to do that. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and explore something new. I truly enjoyed this experience and the chance to broaden my horizons in sports reporting,” he said.
The opportunity to report outside, provide updates and create news packages proved to be a valuable experience, he said.
“For me, this experience fulfilled everything I had hoped for. It provided me with valuable experience and opportunities to diversify my skills,” he said. “It also highlights the incredible opportunities that Cronkite offers its students.”