Royals v. A's spring training

Cronkite students publish work for several media outlets during spring training

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


Max Williams fulfilled a dream during Major League Baseball’s Cactus League spring training, as did many of his classmates. 

Williams, a sophomore at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, received an opportunity when he was among a group of Cronkite School students who covered spring training for a number of professional media outlets.

The Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau partnered with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bay Area News Group, The Kansas City Star and The Denver Post to provide team coverage for those publications. The bureau is a class at the Cronkite School and one of the school’s signature immersive capstone experiences, serving as a multiplatform newsroom that allows students to cover major sporting events in Phoenix and other parts of the country. 

Cronkite students have covered spring training since 2011, partnering with a variety of major metropolitan media organizations, as well as national news outlets such as and Sports Illustrated. 

This year, the bureau’s students were the only reporters covering the Oakland Athletics for the Bay Area News Group and teamed with professional reporters from the other outlets, writing feature stories on players, shooting game photos, and producing digital and multimedia content.

“I chose to work with Cronkite students because, as an alum who has worked with plenty of other graduates and students, I know that the training provided by ASU prepares students to deliver the stories we need from the Phoenix area,” said Michael Nowels, who serves as sports editor for the The Mercury News and East Bay Times, which is part of the Bay Area News Group. “I am impressed by their willingness to hop on any story.” 

Williams wrote a profile piece for the Kansas City Star on recently signed pitcher Michael Wacha of the Kansas City Royals. 

He had the chance to learn and receive advice from the Royals beat reporter Jaylon Thompson while covering spring training. 

“The Kansas City Star is a great example of an organization that is willing to take a chance on the product that we provide and, in turn, they receive quality content. This is a dream come true for the kid version of Max, and I just think it was a cool thing to add to my portfolio as well,” Williams said. “I just pitched a story idea and expressed my interest in spring training and I was able to get credentials and go follow that story.” 

Students also reported on the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres.

Cronkite senior Josh Amick covered spring training for the second consecutive year. Amick produced digital and broadcast stories on the Oakland A’s for The Mercury News

“It’s huge to get that hands-on experience of working with professional teams and knowing what it’s like in a professional setting before I’m even done with school,” Amick said. 

Senior sports journalism major Reece Andrews produced photo content for Cronkite News, The Kansas City Star and The Mercury News. Andrews credited Paola Boivin, professor of practice and director of the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau, with helping students receive these opportunities. 

“We have students doing work for a variety of platforms: digital, broadcast, photo and social media at spring training, so whatever your interest, opportunity awaits,” Boivin said. “It is also a great way for our reporters to work side-by-side with professional journalists, as well as get to interview and report on some of the top players in the game.” 

By Lauren Boykins