By: Miranda Rester
Ann Curry. Diane Sawyer. Katie Couric. Lisa Ling. One day we hope to see Allison Slusher among this list of successful female reporters. After a year as a reporter for The Warrior Beat, Slusher has taken the next step in her career as a journalist. When a position in the sports section of The Daily Mississippian at the University of Mississippi in Oxford opened up, Slusher was offered the job of softball reporter. “When I turned in my first story, I knew that it was the next step in my journalism career. It was an incredible feeling,” Slusher said.
Slusher is quickly learning that collegiate reporting is a completely different world compared to her career as a high school journalist. “This is a daily newspaper, so I’m learning to adjust,” she said. “A monthly newspaper doesn’t have this much rush because you have weeks to get your story finished as opposed to hours.”
As the softball reporter, it’s Slusher’s job to attend every home game, no matter the hour, and have each article turned in by the deadline, which can often be the next morning. “Sometimes I go straight from the games to my dorm and type up my article,” Slusher said. “I have to pay really close attention to what I’m writing because it has to be turned in right then.” In addition to making sure the story is written well, she also has to be sure that she uses the correct lingo.
“I don’t play sports, but thankfully, I know baseball lingo,” Slusher said. “The guys in the box are always helping me though. Also, since there’s a specialized sports editor, he can add in lingo and stats if I’ve missed something.”
Many articles endure substantial editorial correction, especially the first article a reporter submits, but Slusher’s writing is usually subjected to minimal changes. “I was really stressed out when I turned in my first article, but when I saw it in the paper the next day, I saw that there really weren’t that many corrections,” she said. “That was a great feeling, but each article is different and corrected accordingly. I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay on top of my writing.” Slusher is double majoring in Journalism and International Studies, so she’s well equipped to handle the stress and pressure of a daily newspaper.
“Allison was only on staff for a year, but I saw her potential as a writer immediately,” Joy Davis, The Warrior Beat adviser, said. “I’m so proud to see her excel at this level.”
This small town Erin Andrews is currently finishing out the year as the softball reporter and hopes to soon start reporting in other areas for The Daily Mississippian.