Samuel Luckhurst joined the Huffington Post UK as sports reporter in March 2012, having previously interned for Sabotage Times and written a football blog called FootballFix. Following a BA in English and American literature, Samuel obtained an MA in journalism at Medway’s Centre for Journalism where he cut his teeth conducting “vox pops”, editing radio packages, writing for print and online formats “and so on and so forth”.
The Huffington Post will be covering the Olympic and Paralympics Games across all sectors of their website. Samuel says, “It will be hectic in regards to keeping up with events. Inevitably there will be a lot of reporting as we have press passes, but we are really keen to forge an alternative personality, so picking up on the funnies and the weirder side of the games appeals just as much. There will be ‘on this day’ features and we will have interviews prior to, and during the games, from past Olympians as well, as we build up content.”
Samuel, who joined Twitter while was studying for his MA in journalism, says that for a journalist social media is an invaluable tool for news gathering, interacting and forging contacts. “You learn from people on there – earthy supporters of their clubs or enthusiasts for their sport – and that will only benefit your own approach to covering what they want. The interaction side in particular is great and something Huffington Post prides itself on. Polls, quizzes and news prediction are a vital cog in online media, and it is something we encourage as it builds up a following.”
With the Huffington Post’s sports section only a month old, “it is imperative we mould an identity and offer sports fans something different from match reports and impartial opinions. Exhibiting something refreshing will hopefully lead to me gaining a creative reputation. The license to write features and conjure up irreverent pieces is a joy, so that freedom is something to thrive upon.”
Working with PRs
“I’ve not had a great deal of face-time with PR pros, but of course it can be frustrating if your time with an interviewee is limited. It’s part of their job however, so if anything it tests your skill as a journalist in not displaying any fear about being forthright.
“Fortunately we’ve received a lot of details from PR representatives and have built up a good series of contacts already, and that will only augment the chances of a positive outcome from any future interviews.”