Donovan Varney covering Big East Tournament at CMA

WOUB students travel to CMA Convention and cover the Big East Basketball Tournament

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ATHENS, OH – As the annual NCAA basketball tournament gets underway this week, some students from WOUB are watching the controversy surrounding which Big East teams were selected with insider knowledge. That’s because the students were able to cover those teams and players last week during the Big East Tournament in New York City. The WOUB students were part of a group of 17 Ohio University students who went to the College Media Association (CMA) Convention last week. Four of them also took advantage of timing and opportunity to cover the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The basketball tournament ran on the same dates as the CMA Convention – Wednesday, March 13 through Saturday, March 16.

“It was an amazing opportunity for students who work at The Post and WOUB to cover different tournament games as credentialed media,” said Ohio University Director of Student Media Andrea Lewis, who took the students on the trip. “Professionals from the convention critiqued their work the following morning after the evening games.”

“The experience of being able to cover the Big East Tournament has been truly eye opening. I’ve been given the opportunity to go out and be a journalist on one of the largest stages in sports. Through that, I think the biggest thing I’ve gained is confidence,” said WOUB student Donovan Varney, a sophomore journalism news and information major. “Attending post-game press conferences with high-level coaches and athletes has given me more confidence to go out and talk to people and conduct interviews. I got to casually go into the New York Knicks locker room to speak to players after the game. If that doesn’t make you confident to do this regularly, I don’t know what will.”

Varney is thankful that he got this opportunity and that he had the experience to know what to do with it.

“The Big East Tournament experience just gave me reassurance that I am at the right place to study journalism, being at Ohio University,” said Varney. “It was clear that what I’ve learned in class and through WOUB was immediately applicable to the real world.”

The trip also included the chance for students to go on a mini-media tour of New York City before the convention began.

“We went to the Associated Press headquarters and toured the newsrooms and visited the global media production room. We toured the federal court where some of the biggest trials involving terrorists and financial fraud have occurred,” said Lewis. “The students got to see the press room where all the reporters work in the courthouse. We did take time to ride the Staten Island Ferry so they could get a view of The Statue of Liberty.”

At the CMA convention, students had the opportunity to meet reporters, editors, broadcasters, podcasters, digital marketers, nonprofit content producers, public relations managers, and many other media pros. Students learned about career development from those who already have the career they want. They also had the opportunity to be in the studio during a breaking news broadcast and NYPD press conference while on tour of WABC-Channel 7.