Newspaper Day to focus on world of sports

Ann Kopecky

Ann Kopecky

The art of sports writing will be the focus of Newspaper Day Thursday as native South Dakota sports reporters share tips on baseball, fishing and all-around sports-reporting careers.

The full-day event will kickoff at 8:30 a.m. in the Dakota Room of the University Student Union.

National sportswriter, Mel Antonen, will headline the SDSU Journalism and Mass Communication department Newspaper Day.

Antonen, a native of Lake Norden who covers baseball for USA TODAY, will deliver the keynote address, “How baseball in Lake Norden and Yankee Stadium are exactly alike!” at a noon luncheon.

A baseball reporter for 17 years at USA TODAY, Antonen has also been a regular contributor to CNN and baseball shows on radio stations across the country.

Other speakers include Jeff Simpson and John Papendick. Simpson, a 1994 SDSU graduate, is an editor and staff photographer for In-Fisherman Publications in Minnesota.

Simpson will give his speech, “On the walleye trail: Improving your outdoors coverage” from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Papendick, a 1984 SDSU graduate, is a news editor and award-winning sports editor at the Aberdeen American News. Papendick will deliver his lecture, “Putting action back in your sports stories” at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 10:15 a.m.

Dale Blegen, De Smet News and Jennifer Wages Adler, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, will join the other speakers on a panel at 10:30 a.m. to offer advice to students seeking similar careers.

A mini-press conference with athletic director Fred Oien on SDSU’s plans to go NCAA Division I will conclude the event. The press conference begins at 1:45 p.m. and will finish at 2:30 p.m.

Mary Peterson Arnold, department head of Journalism and Mass Communications, said that most of the speakers will discuss career opportunities in sports reporting for students who plan to stay in South Dakota and for students who plan to leave the state.

“All the people that are speaking have started in South Dakota,” Arnold said. “It’s always fascinating to see and talk to people who have made it, in any business.”