Interviews and Webinars

Qwoted is committed to exploring the current state of the media by speaking to industry leaders and educating future generations of media professionals. What has social media and technological innovation brought to the table? What can we expect for the future of journalism?

Brittany Ghiroli graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, and competed on the university’s swim team as an academic All Big-10 swimmer. Ghiroli began her career with in 2008, where her coverage of the Tampa Bay Rays was featured in the American League Championship Series program. She spent eight game seasons as the Orioles beat reporter before joining The Athletic in November of 2018. Ghiroli currently covers the Washington D.C. Nationals team and breaking Major League Baseball news, while hosting The Athletic’s MLB podcast Rates and Barrels. Ghiroli is also an Insider reporter for MLB Network and has appeared live and in pre-taped segments on NBC Sports, FOX, ESPN’s SportsCenter, and Outside the Lines. She was named Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Reporter” in 2014 and D.C. Sportswriter of the Year in 2019. Ghiroli discussed the importance of revamping the model of the current media industry, because paying for journalism is crucial, and it works. “Journalism belongs in the same category as the Spotify’s, Netflix’s and HBO’s of the world. People will pay for premium content with no ads, which will result in reporters being paid properly for their work,” said Ghiroli.

If there’s one thing you could change or improve about journalism—in any area—what might that be and why?

BG: We’ve become an industry of aggregation, and hopefully we can replace this current mindset with one that focuses on quantity over quality. A lot of journalism operates via clicks and views, because it’s easier to spread a story that way instead of digging deep and spending weeks or months investigating. But those investigative stories are the ones that show the power of the press by uncovering the big issues. Relying on clicks is not a good set up, and it’s how you fall into the trap of choosing 20 bad stories instead of one quality one.

The profession of journalism feels more attacked today than in a long time, but also highly necessary. Do you feel that’s true, and if so, why?

BG: The cool thing about the media that people don’t always realize is that we hold people and entities accountable, from team owners, to front offices, to players. There’s always going to be a need for that because players are always going to want to air frustrations, and there is always going to be a certain level of distrust between players and teams. Sports mimics many elements of our society, when compared to the power of big corporations and how much trust people have in their own government. If there’s nobody blowing the whistle, there’s nobody holding people accountable – and that’s part of what makes democracy so great.

What do you think about the role of technology in journalism? Is it helpful? harmful? Something in between?

BG: I think technology certainly helps bridge the gap. However, I don’t believe the mediums are properly supervised, especially in this age where we consume more media than ever before. It can be hard to tell the difference between a made-up story and a reputable report, especially with the growth of unaffiliated blogs and the ability for anyone to buy a microphone and host a podcast in their basement. People forget that there are still professionals doing their job the right way.

But one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a reporter is to not put yourself on those social sites, because it’s an important avenue towards getting better. It certainly comes with caveats and must be approached in the right way. I take pride in trying to be as fair and accurate as possible, because as a journalist, the most valuable thing you have is your credibility.

What learnings have made a tremendous difference in your career?

BG: A lot can be gained by watching instead of pretending that you have all the answers. What I did, and what a lot of young reporters do, was believe that if I acted the part, everything would be okay. It’s not a bad thing to admit you don’t know what you’re doing and admit that you need help.

Which aspects of your work do you find the most challenging? The most rewarding?

BG: The time commitment of this job can be a challenge. It requires 9-hour days, weekend and holiday work, and many personal sacrifices. But breaking a big scoop or telling an unheard story about a player brings a huge rush. Having the family of a player or people in the press box tell me they loved and learned from my story, is what I really enjoy and what’s ultimately worth it.

What are some of the best practices from journalism’s past that you feel need to be utilized now?

BG: Previous generations were printing stories in newspapers rather than just sending out a tweet, so they took accountability very seriously. I think we could benefit from channeling that mindset by understanding that nothing is ever fully removed from the Internet, and anything you put your name on better be right, accurate, and fair – regardless of the medium. I also believe there’s a lot more to like about where the industry is headed than where it came from, especially the strides we’ve made towards diversifying the industry.

What gives you hope for the future of the journalism industry?

BG: 2020 has been terrible for many reasons, but it’s really pushed the fact that we need more diverse voices to the forefront. The field needs more people from different backgrounds, telling different stories. It’s important for the next generation of journalists to say, ‘I can do this, because there’s people that made it who look and sound like me “….and come from where I do.’ That’s important in any profession – in mine, the first female GM in North American major men’s professional sports was recently hired (Kim Ng), which I look at as a watershed moment.”