With so many games to cover each season, the young reporters at Rebel Report – UNLV’s student-run sports broadcast and social media platform – definitely get their representatives. Senior Teneka Ash is one of the UNLV students exploring the world of sports journalism.
How did you get into sports journalism?
I’m on the swim team, so exercise runs through my veins. I studied film, so I wanted to find a way to combine sports and film, so sports journalism offers me exactly that.
What is your favorite event to report on so far?
I’d say the Raiders game that I covered with my co-host Josh. That game made me feel like my confidence really grew – it was just an amazing experience to be a student reporter at a Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium and to be between all those pros.
What challenges have you encountered while covering a game?
It’s really hard to get a perfect shot the first time, and if you’re working on a time crunch, you’ll have little time at halftime to analyze what you got in the first half and piece it together into something that sounds articulated. You have to record, edit and upload it within 30 minutes – that’s the big hurdle of a live hit. It’s a lot of pressure, but I like it.
How does it feel to be back on the field after missing a few seasons due to COVID-19?
It feels incredible. Especially as an athlete on the UNLV swim team, I understand both sides of reporting on the sport and being an athlete. I think for everyone involved in getting sport live again and having fans in the stands you can feel the support behind you. Getting out of the COVID era is probably the best thing that can happen to me. I think it has allowed us all to increase our confidence and have a better understanding of what we are doing.
What has helped you, being an athlete yourself, to inform your reporting?
I think a lot of that is empathy. Athletes go through a lot, whether it’s injuries or something else, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. It’s important to go into interviews with sensitive questions and tell the truth about a story, rather than just looking for something that will make headlines.
What’s a favorite story you’ve worked on?
Jade Thomas and I interviewed an Olympic swimmer from Poland and I don’t think anyone shared her story the way we did. And when she saw it she texted me that it made her very emotional and thanked us for taking something as simple as an interview and making it a truthful and beautiful story. It really made me appreciate what I wanted to achieve and the people who helped me get there. It’s messages like this that make me feel like this is what I’m supposed to do.
What are some of your future plans in sports journalism?
After I graduate from college, I would love to work with sports teams, whether that’s running their social media or going into sports broadcast, which I would absolutely love.