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Grant Pepper is ONU sports media

Grant Pepper is hoping to take multiple organizations under his wing and into the future. (graphic/ Dan Knapinski)

In the fall, sophomore Grant Pepper will take over nearly all sports media outlets on campus. He is and will be the sports editor at the Northern Review as well as the sports director at WONB radio. I caught up with him for a few minutes as he looks forward to the coming years of sports media.

What was your media experience in high school?

“I was on the high school newspaper staff for all four years. I was the advertising manager my sophomore year. My junior year I was the design editor, I pretty much handled the design process of the editing process. My senior year I was the editor-in-chief, so I kind of ran the show.”

How did you get started with the Northern Review?

“I came here as a journalism major and always wanted to continue doing that and knew I wanted to get involved in whatever student publication we had on campus right away. The first weekend I saw the booth at welcome weekend and signed up. I knew it was something I wanted to do if I wanted to get a career in journalism.”

What things do you like about the Northern Review and what would you change?

“I like how we have a lot of freedom as writers. The structure of the Review promotes writers’ abilities to pick up their own articles and also we don’t have an extremely strict revision process. That allows our stuff to get up quicker and it’s nice because I feel like I can write more. In high school we went through so many different editing processes that it wasn’t really current and kind of defeated the purpose.

What we could change in the future is keep recruiting because we’re a small staff. Find new ways to get more information out and we could always improve our website to more easily host different media forms.”

What are your goals for the sports section?

“My goal would be to grow the sports section, I’d love to recruit more sportswriters and writers in general. I think we can do a little more with allocating certain sports to certain people and developing a beat for certain sports. I think recruiting is going to be a big focus for me here in the future.”

How did you get involved at WONB radio?

“One of the advantages of going to a small school is that you can be involved in a lot of different things relating to your major and get involved right away. Much like the Review, WONB also has a pretty small staff and they knew I wrote about sports here. They kind of recruited me into announcing for them. I started my stint there in the second semester. I started doing Ada high school girl’s basketball games and did a few softball games this spring. I applied for the sports manager position next fall and got it, so the past couple months I have been weaning myself into duties as the sports manager there.  It’s another opportunity for me to get a broader experience in the field of journalism and specifically sports journalism.”

What can we expect from their sports department in the next few years?

“Like with The Review, I’d like to expand and recruit. We’re graduating nearly half of our members this year. The big thing with WONB is making small changes each year. This year we added an OAC talk show that was a nice addition in the fall. Little additions like that are nice because we need to utilize our airtime. There are other kinds of shows and interviews we can have that will spice things up a little bit.”

What are you hoping to do in the future with all the experience you’re gaining now?

“Eventually I would like to be a beat writer for a professional sports organization. Either that or be Lee Jenkins for Sports Illustrated. I’d like to be a beat writer one day just because I really enjoy being around sports. It doesn’t really have to sports for me; I have a broad interest in journalism and like all types of journalism. For me the big thing is just getting somewhere where I can be happy in that field and using the skills that I’ve learned so far.”

What are you looking forward to most with these two organizations over your college career?

“For The Review, I’d look forward to growth and I’d look forward to making it a little more publicized. I think people know we have a publication here on campus but we’re not very well known. I’d like to get to the point, and this might not happen in four years but we can start, where people respect the Northern Review and know what the Northern Review is and we provide coverage for them that they can’t get anywhere else. I think there are stories to be told here that students don’t know about because they don’t see news like that anywhere. I think we can provide that.

With the radio, I think we have a unique audience that listens to a lot of our sports broadcasts, especially Ada football and Ohio Northern football. You and Brett went to a conference in Vegas this year because of a game broadcast and we need to just keep improving and have a few more things like that to happen. In doing that we can almost use it as a recruiting tool. I’d like to see more people grow and improve their craft in the staff.”

 

If you’d like to talk sports with Grant, if he ever gets a moment of free time, he’ll be around Ada for three more years.

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