I’m Bailey Johnson, a sports reporter at The Dispatch. I started in February as the high school sports reporter and also chip in on the Blue Jackets beat from time to time.
Connect with me: Twitter, author page, Instagram
Columbus high school sports: Who are the top 11 senior football players to watch this fall in central Ohio?
I’ve always loved writing, but I never thought about becoming a journalist until my sophomore year of college. After one too many texts about my thoughts on Michigan football (yes, I’m a Wolverine in Buckeye country!), both of my parents suggested that I look into writing for the student newspaper.
Once I walked in the doors of the Michigan Daily, I never looked back. Covering sports was the perfect blend of my lifelong love of both sports and writing, and I knew I’d found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Building relationships with the players and coaches I cover on a regular basis is by far the best part of my job. Starting as a stranger asking for a random interview and eventually becoming someone that’s trusted to tell a personal story is so rewarding. It’s something I prioritize in my work.
Columbus sports: Berliner Award winner Joe Lang looks back fondly on a life dedicated to Bishop Ready
Cold calling! The spike of anxiety right before I make a phone call has never quite gone away, but it’s gotten better over the years. I’m always convinced the person I’m calling will be angry with me for some reason, which has never happened — by and large, people enjoy being asked for their opinions and feelings about things. 
While at Michigan, I spent two seasons covering the hockey team as one of four beat writers. I always got to the games early and noticed some of the players had very specific pregame routines, including one who always stretched before the game in exactly the same spot.
When I asked why he chose that spot, he told me his late grandfather had season tickets in the seats directly underneath, so he’d started standing there to wave hello before each game and kept it up after his grandfather passed away.
I went on to write a feature story about his relationship with his grandfather and how supportive his grandfather had been of his hockey career, and it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written. But what stands out to me more than the story I wrote was that he felt comfortable enough to tell me about an incredibly personal moment.
I can’t do my job without the trust of the people whose stories I’m telling.
That story always reminds me that building up a relationship — a person-first relationship, not a transactional one — is the best way to be able to tell powerful, important stories.
I’m not from Ohio, so since moving here, I’ve tried to explore Columbus as much as I can, and I love to go for long walks around the city. I’m always looking for new places to go, so all recommendations are welcomed!
I’m a huge dog person, so I can’t wait for the day I can have a dog of my own. In the meantime, I try to pet every dog I see and I’m looking forward to getting involved as a volunteer with a dog rescue organization soon.
There are all sorts of broad-sweeping reasons journalism matters — holding the powerful accountable, revealing the truth, informing the public and more — but for me, it can be summed up really simply.
Journalism matters because people and their stories matter, and without journalism, those stories would go untold.
bjohnson@dispatch.com
@baileyajohnson_
We can’t bring you essential coverage, insightful news and powerful stories without the support of the community. Please consider becoming a subscriber to help make this work possible.
Support our work: 7 reasons you should subscribe to The Columbus Dispatch
And get to know more of our staff and their excellent work:

source

Por redditxxx