•  ()
  •  ()
  • Print this Story
  • Email this Story

Race, Sports and Journalism

Five generations of Medill sports reporters explore race and sports

text size AAA
April 21, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Race in sports and sports journalism will be the focus of a panel of journalists representing five generations of Medill alumni Thursday, May 12, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

Free and open to the public, “Beyond The Box Score: A Look At Race In Sports And Sports Journalism” takes place at 6 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive. Part of the popular Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series, it is presented by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. A reception will follow.

Medill alumni Bob Eaton (BSJ63), Kevin Blackistone (BSJ81), Ndidi Massay (BSJ89), Sean Jensen (BSJ98) and Coley Harvey (BSJ07) will share their thoughts about what remains a thorny subject in sports and sports journalism.

About the panelists:

Bob Eaton has worked more than 40 years in television news and currently does consulting work for the NFL Network. He spent 25 years working at NBC before joining ESPN, where he managed and oversaw the expansion of networks and news programs. He retired in 2007 as ESPN senior vice president and managing editor. The recipient of 15 Emmy awards for his work at NBC and ESPN, Eaton is a member of both the Medill Board of Advisers and Medill Hall of Achievement.

Kevin Blackistone is a panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and the Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland. A longtime sports columnist and occasional National Public Radio contributor, Blackistone assisted Everson Walls write “A Gift for Ron.” The book -- a memoir by the former NFL star Walls about his kidney donation to his one-time teammate Ron Springs – was published in 2009. A former award-winning sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News, Blackistone until recently wrote online for AOLs “Fanhouse.”

Ndidi Massay is director of business operations and development for ESPN RISE, which is ESPN's high school brand. The brand spans all ESPN platforms, including TV/radio programming, digital media, publishing and events. Prior to ESPN, Massay brokered and negotiated deals as part of her own sports and entertainment law practice. An Amateur Softball Association All-American and team captain at Northwestern, Massay led the Wildcats to the College World Series in 1986, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in the process. She was inducted into Northwestern’s Athletics Hall of Fame in February 2009.

Sean Jensen is the Chicago Bears beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, and has covered the NFL since 1998. For 11 of those years, he was the lead beat writer for the Bears or Minnesota Vikings. He also worked as an NFL and national columnist for AOL Sports, an NFL contributor to Yahoo! Sports and was a correspondent for “Sports Illustrated,” “Pro Football Weekly” and “Sporting News.” A frequent guest on television and radio -- including appearances on ESPN, NFL Network and ABC’s “Good Morning America” -- he has covered major sports events, including the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.

Coley Harvey is a sports reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where he covers the Florida State University beat. He joined the Sentinel in March 2011 after spending nearly four years covering Georgia Tech athletics for the Macon Telegraph in Macon, Ga. While at Medill, he covered the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants as an associate reporter for MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball. In fall 2010, he held a voting position on the weekly 65-person college football Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series regularly brings journalists, newsmakers and others to Northwestern’s Evanston campus for discussions of current events and the news business.

For more information, call (847) 467-4130, email m-zarefsky@northwestern.edu, or visit http://www.medill.northwestern.edu.