Inside Texas is a website that covers University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) sports.
I reached out to one of their writers Joe Cook, a Longhorns alumni and 2016 journalism graduate.
Cook has been writing for Inside Texas since spring of his freshman year where he started as a baseball beat writer, and added responsibility over time.
“I was able to convince the company to hire me full time after doing unpaid work for several years.” Cook said.
When it comes to sports, Cook has always had an interest. He played football and baseball in high school and did some intramurals in college.
“Sports dominate my daily conversation with most I know.” He said.
Cook’s cousin Dan Cook, was a very-well known columnist in San Antonio and a huge inspiration in Cook’s life. “I saw what he did for a living and decided writing about sports.” He said.
Being a sports writer means a lot of time on the road. Cook is constantly traveling to various Longhorn events and following the high school football recruitment process.
“…I also get to see a lot of small towns throughout the state because of high school football as a part of recruiting coverage.” He mentioned.
Just with any career, sports writers face several roadblocks.. Cook highlighted how getting a hold of sources, his editorial responsibilities and the monitoring of forums are among is biggest challenges.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it has some strenuous times. It’s very enjoyable though.”
Despite his fair share of responsibilities, he wouldn’t say he gives a huge amount of effort akin to an 8 hour work day.
Being on the frontlines of what happens athletically at his alma mater, is easily Cook’s favorite part about his career. “I was able to turn a lifelong fandom into a paycheck.” He said.
According to Cook, the most important thing to do when attempting to enter the sports journalism field is to work and get published. “That’s how you show your value.” He said.
“I’m not one of those people that believes every internship deserves payment. The world doesn’t work that way.”
Cook also mentioned that there will be times when you won’t be paid for your writing and that it’s okay. He uses himself as an example, “I worked my tail off and made myself so valuable to Inside Texas, they had to hire me.”
Read some of Cook’s writing for Inside Texas here.