Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

January 16, 2018

Ball State University students are taking their news reporting skills to South Korea in February to be part of an international media contingent at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Led by Ryan Sparrow, a Ball State journalism professor, five students from the University’s immersive learning experience BSU at the Games, a student-run news agency, will provide daily coverage of the games from February 9-25. The agency is also partnering with news organizations in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

BSU at the Games made its debut at the London 2012 Olympics. Students produced stories, news graphics, photos, and videos that appeared in major news outlets such as the Huffington Post, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Ball State students also have been at the Winter Olympics in Russia and the summer games in Brazil.

Because of Ball State’s experience with previous Olympic contests, TeamUSA granted full media credentials, the professor said. Students from Northwestern University also will receive credentials. During past games, BSU at the Games was limited to providing “behind the scenes” stories and not actual competitions.

“Working inside the media center alongside professional journalists from around the world is an incredible opportunity for our students, which was not possible during previous games,” he said. “The London, Sochi, and Rio Olympics taught us a lot, created a solid following on social media, and opened a lot of doors that are still available for us in Korea.”

Media outlets working with BSU at the Games include WTHR-TV (an NBC affiliate in Indianapolis), NBC, Chicago Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer. BSU at the Games is open to working with more organizations.

“It’s great to know that the quality of work we presented in previous games was so memorable that journalists are looking to us for South Korea as well,” the professor said. “In the end, this is a tremendous learning opportunity for our students. The experience the students gained from participating in the previous Olympics led to several graduating with job offers. Our Olympic project provides students with the skills employers want.”

Fans may follow the Olympics through the eyes of the students through Twitter at @bsuatthegames and at facebook.com/bsuatthegames. The project’s website, bsuatthegames.com, will have original stories, blogs, and photos.