It’s a dream job that can have moments of personal heartbreak.
But those emotions come with the territory when you’re a journalist covering your favorite NFL team. For Brandon Carwile ‘16, that’s the Green Bay Packers, who lost in the divisional round of the playoffs just last weekend.
His job—covering the team for USA Today’s PackersWire—requires Carwile to set aside his fandom and approach the game from as neutral a place as possible.
I have to eliminate that fan bias as much as I can even though it’s sometimes difficult. But I had a lot of training at Longwood as a reporter so I’ve relied on that training.Brandon Carwile ‘16 Tweet This
“I have to eliminate that fan bias as much as I can,” he said, “even though it’s sometimes difficult. But I had a lot of training at Longwood as a reporter so I’ve relied on that training.”
Carwile’s journalism career may have begun at Longwood—when he entered as an athletic training major but switched to communication studies when he discovered a love for writing—but his Packers fandom started in his childhood living room, watching Packers games with his father.
“We watched every game that we could together, and got to travel up to Washington to see people like Brett Favre play,” he said. “I’ll never forget going to a Packers game in D.C. on Halloween and feeling that electric atmosphere.”
With a love for the green-and-gold firmly instilled, Carwile found his passion for media in the classroom, learning from Longwood communication studies professors like Jeff Halliday and Ryan Stouffer. In those lessons, he found a gift for story-telling and a knack for crafting a narrative.
I think back a lot to something that Professor Halliday said a lot: media is ever-evolving. Jobs that are here now weren’t even thought of five years ago, and five years from now, who knows what the media landscape will look like?Brandon Carwile ‘16 Tweet This
It was that combination that led him down a non-traditional path into professional journalism. Starting at regional blogs and creating content about the Packers, he began to get noticed and published on ever-larger sites—until the USA Today came calling.
“I think back a lot to something that Professor Halliday said a lot: media is ever-evolving,” he said. “Jobs that are here now weren’t even thought of five years ago, and five years from now, who knows what the media landscape will look like? It’s unpredictable but there are so many outlets where you can produce and consume content.”
And with this team as a subject—including their polarizing quarterback Aaron Rodgers—the content well is as deep as the appetite of readers to read it.
“The playoffs are prime real estate,” he said. “Fans are so interested in the players, and in the team as a whole. They really are consuming as much as possible. I’ll be wishing it was this time when it’s May. I’ll be looking forward to next year’s playoffs and the endless story opportunities that come with it.”
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