Editor’s note: Kellis Robinett began covering Kansas State sports for The Eagle last Saturday.
By Kellis Robinett
Getting started on a newspaper sports beat usually means meeting many new people and getting immersed in an athletics program in a short amount of time.
This week, my first as The Eagle’s Kansas State beat writer, has been no different. I’ve met with a lot of K-State athletic officials and coaches as I get ready for the fall sports seasons.
And yet it has been different, mostly because of a blog I used to write for on occasion.
For a five-month period ending in May, I contributed to a blog called “The Jayhawk Lounge” because I thought it would be a good way to stay in touch with some old acquaintances and write about a common interest.
At the time, I was employed by the Idaho State Journal and spent my days covering Idaho State athletics, writing columns about the local sports scene and maintaining my own personal blog on the newspaper’s Web site.
My work for the Journal was well read and I enjoyed the experience, but few outside the region were interested in reading about Idaho sports. My roots are in the Midwest, and when a half-dozen people I knew from college asked me to help them write about Kansas, I figured why not?
I considered myself a fan and watched most of the Jayhawks games in my free time anyway, so occasionally writing about them as well didn’t sound too bad.
I can’t recall how many entries I made on the blog, but I did not make all of them. I created the site’s domain name, but other than that it was a group effort. In its lifespan, it received approximately 6,000 page views.
By the time May rolled around, I was living in Nebraska and writing for the Omaha World-Herald on a freelance basis. I had intended to keep writing for the blog and even linked to it in my farewell column at the Journal. But after the move I didn’t have time to do it anymore. So I stopped.
The other authors on the blog seemed to lose their passion for the project at about the same time and the site became dormant.
The blog remained online without updates through August and was taken down shortly after I was hired by The Eagle and The Star.
My editors repeatedly asked questions about the blog during the interview process. Could I stay objective while covering the Kansas State beat? Could I give up being a fan of the University of Kansas? Would I put in the extra effort to gain the trust of my new readers?
Yes, yes and yes.
My ties to KU and my brief time writing for a fan blog will have no effect on my coverage of Kansas State.
My goal is to cover the Wildcats to the best of my ability and do so fairly. It is what our readers deserve and it is what I will give them.
To read a blog post about this from deputy editor for news Tom Shine, visit The Editor’s Desk.