Ball State University students are taking their reporting skills to South Korea in February to be part of an international media contingent at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Led by journalism professor Ryan Sparrow, five students from Ball State’s BSU at the Games, a student-run news agency, will provide daily coverage of the games from Feb. 9-25. The agency is partnering with news organizations in Indianapolis, Chicago and Philadelphia.
BSU at the Games made its debut at the 2012 Olympics in London. Students produced stories, news graphics, photos, and videos that appeared in major news outlets such as the Huffington Post, USA Today and Chicago Tribune. Ball State students also have been at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and the 2016 summer games in Brazil.
Due to Ball State’s experience at previous Olympics, BSU at the Games was granted full media credentials, Sparrow said. Northwestern University is the only other U.S. school receiving full credentials. During past games, BSU at the Games was limited to providing “behind the scenes” stories and not coverage of 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,” Sparrow said in an email. “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 Channel 13, NBC, Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer. BSU at the Games is open to working with more organizations, Sparrow said.
“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,” Sparrow 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 [students] graduating with job offers. Our Olympic project provides students with the skills employers want.”
Fans cab 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.