Starting out as a journalist…

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Walking along the shore of Lake Tahoe

Well that went fast.

It only feels like a few weeks ago that I arrived in Halifax and walked into journalism school for the first time. Now I find myself approaching graduation with all my classes and an internship complete.

More worrying, is that I now have to make a career in the crazy world of journalism. And I have to make a living from it!

The last six weeks have at least been a good start I think. I’ve been staying in San Francisco, completing an internship, with the Adventure Sports Journal, but also making some progress in becoming a freelance journalist.

Whilst still at school in Halifax, I pitched my first series of articles to Triathlon Magazine Canada. The first was something they were already covering, but they agreed to publish two stories about local triathletes in Nova Scotia. The first of these came out this weekend, in the May edition. My first ever professional print article. I have to say I’m pretty proud.

My time in California has been about learning how a small magazine works, and immersing myself in the culture of outdoor sports in this area.

I’ve been training hard for triathlons, including a weekend away with the Golden Gate Triathlon Club, held at the beautiful Lake San Antonio, near Bradley, CA. This experience provided me with the subject for my first online article for ASJ. I returned to the lake for the Wildflower Triathlon last weekend, and this initial piece was about the course and how to train for this race.

Next for ASJ came the Sea Otter Classic, a huge cycling festival held at the Laguna Seca Raceway, near Monterey. It was a crazy weekend, meeting potential advertisers, distributing the magazine and writing a recap, immediately after the event.

I also met with another online publication, readwrite.com, during my time in San Francisco. They focus on tech, mainly the internet of things and wearables. I hope with the growing market for sports technology, that I’ll be able to pitch them some stories in the future.

The biggest event for me during my time in California was the Wildflower Triathlon Festival itself. In the lead up to the weekend, I wrote a preview for the pro race that got a reasonable amount of attention online and then followed this up with coverage of the whole weekend. I got a press pass for the event, which meant that I was treated like a VIP, and I have to say it was a fantastic experience courtesy of the Tri California race company.

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Elite females ready to go at the swim start. Photo Credit: Alex Felker

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American Jesse Thomas won the elite men’s race for the sixth year running. Photo Credit: Alex Felker

I worked at the festival for ASJ, but I also pitched coverage to Triathlon Magazine Canada. With three Canadian pros racing, they were keen to take me up on this offer. My work for them consisted of a recap of the pro race, submitted within four hours of the end of the race, video interviews with some of the Canadians racing and social media coverage. It was a great experience and thankfully, they were pleased with my work.

I have written two articles for ASJ. The first is a different write up of the pro race. The second is a recap of my own personal race experience, having tackled the Olympic course on the third day of the festival. It was an incredibly difficult race, but a great experience and chance to learn more about one of the sports I hope to build my career around.

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A big smile as I finished the swim! Photo Credit: Alex Felker

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Heading into transition. Photo Credit: Alex Felker

Having had six busy weeks, it was fantastic to head to Lake Tahoe for my last weekend in California with my girlfriend Camille. The weather wasn’t perfect but we were able to chill out by the amazing lake, enjoy some short hikes and relax together in the peace and quiet. Everything that is right about the world!

Overall, my time in the USA was incredibly busy and it was a fantastic experience. I’ve loved being in California and spending time in San Francisco, but it’s time to head back north to graduate, and then my plan is to head west, to Vancouver and the mountains of British Columbia.

What happens next in my career?

That’s entirely up me. And that’s terrifying, but also incredibly exciting.

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A stunning vista across Lake Tahoe from Eagle Rock

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Camille chilling out by the lake

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2 Comments on “Starting out as a journalist…

  1. Luke, we’ve enjoyed following your sports accomplishments, and look forward to reading your coverage of the sports exploits of others. Keep writing with the passion and enthusiasm you showed in your journal of last year’s long distance bike ride, and you’ll be right on track.

    Congratulations on graduation!

    Eric & Leslie Jenkins
    (from your Erie Canal segment – Little Falls to Fultonville, New York)

    • Thank you so much! It’s fantastic to hear from you. I’ll try to keep this page updated more with links to my stories. I really am loving writing about these people and events so far!

      All the best,

      Luke

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