Student Uses Social Media to Propel Sports Reporting Career
Angie Lewis’s passion for both writing and sports led her to try her hand at sports journalism at an early age. But it was not until her bold foray into self-publishing through blogs and social media sites that her writing was noticed and her successful career launched.
At age 11, Lewis, SOC/BA ‘12, began writing brief recaps and analysis about Washington Capitals games. She sent in a few samples to the franchise's owner, Ted Leonsis, who encouraged her to continue writing. She did, and the articles continued to improve as her writing developed a confident voice.
In August of 2009, Lewis made her social media debut with a no holds barred sports blog, which quickly began generating hundreds of hits per day. She originally covered a variety of sports, but now focuses on hockey. Through this outlet, Lewis built an impressive portfolio of writing samples that readers and employers alike could easily access via the Web.
However, Lewis wanted to take her humble blog to the next level. She needed more readers, more exposure. She decided to grow her fan base by tapping into other social media outlets to distribute her stories.
“Twitter is the reason I am a full-time writer,” says Lewis, who has nearly 1,800 followers tracking her Tweets in search of hockey news and insights with attitude.
As a result, Lewis has appeared on radio programs to discuss hockey and has been invited to serve as a guest writer on other hockey Websites. Indeed, her growing presence on Twitter ultimately landed her a position covering the National Hockey League for The Hockey Writers, an online publication with a team of 60 writers focusing on all things hockey.
Social networking sites, says Lewis, are just as important nowadays to career advancement as in-person networking. By using Twitter to meet and interact with a diverse cast of readers, writers, and hockey aficionados, Lewis’s networking circle has seen exponential growth – and new opportunities as a result.
“Sometimes, just the right person will happen across your posts or hear a positive review about your work,” says Lewis. “The next thing you know, you have a new reference, or someone offers you a chance to feature as a guest writer on their site.”
In addition to The Hockey Writers, Lewis currently reports for Canada’s The Sports Forecaster magazine and covers high school sports at The Washington Post.