A “Lil Positivity”: ESPN’s Jemele Hill Talks Exclusively To Bossip About Being A Black Female Sports Writer, Growing Up In Detroit, And Whether Or Not She Would Date A Pro Athlete

Bossip: Talk to us more about the high school program you took part in.

Jemele: I took journalism in high school in the tenth grade, in Detroit the high school newspapers were published in the Detroit free press, so once a month, we had to go down the Detroit free press and publish our papers, and talk to people there and they had a high school apprentice program, that I got selected to after my tenth grade year, it was for six weeks and you came and you got paid, and you leaned all about the newspaper, journalism, and so that got me off on my start, I parlayed the 6 week job into answering the phones in the sports department, so my junior and senior years which are the prime socializing years, I spent every Thursday and Friday night taking scores of the high school football games and writing up little brief summaries.

Bossip: So you got into the game very early?

Jemele: Yes, very early and it got me off to a great start. I went to Michigan State because they had the best college journalism program in the state, they had the largest college division in the country, and everyone at free press had gone to state, so they were all pressuring me to go there, even though I grew up as a big Michigan fan you know the five fie was going on when I was in high school, everybody wanted to go to Michigan, but Michigan was going to font, Michigan state was were it was at, every career decision I have every made has been based on journalism.

Bossip: You mentioned that the journalism program at University of Michigan was going under. Do you think that the idea of being a journalist is fading amongst kids nowadays?

Jemele: I think it is fading and if you look around obviously it because the print media form is dying. Newspapers are on life support, so a lot of the things they were able to do in their own community had to be cut. At one time newspapers were very robust finically so they had the funding, to say, have a high school program for students in inner city Detroit to expose them to something. Even now as someone who serves as a mentor, I think that is a really big aspect of why we don’t have more journalist of color in sports and really just throughout media, is because at a young age a lot of them are not really bale to get exposed to the profession like ours. If you are not an athlete and even if you are an athlete, how will someone who grew up in the inner city ever hear about being a sports writer? How would that happen?? You wouldn’t, unfortunately cut backs and those types of things, people are just not able to do that.

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