NBA TNT’s Ernie Johnson launches weekly series on journalism

NBA on TNT Ernie Johnson (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for 2K)
NBA on TNT Ernie Johnson (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for 2K) /

With the NBA currently in a hiatus, NBA on TNT’s Ernie Johnson uses this time to offer advice to aspiring journalists.

COVID-19. The effects are massive, especially in the sports world and the NBA.

Players are socially-distancing in their apartments and houses in cities across the country, unable to play or practice in facilities. Teams and organizations plan and strategize for the uncertain return of the season and the lasting effects of the hiatus.

Even in the outer rinks of the NBA, media companies struggle to produce content and cover the game, when there are none to be played.

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Recently, TNT “Inside the NBA” host Ernie Johnson and his team have decided to launch weekly sessions at 2:00 pm ET on Twitter with various broadcasters, producers, writers, and analysts from around the sports world to speak with high school and college students and anyone else who wants to listen.

"“The greatest joy I had when I was in those journalism classes,” Johnson said, “was when our professors … who had great connections would bring in people who were actually doing what I wanted to do for a living.”"

Johnson further explained that he wants to give students, who are not live in classes anymore, a chance to continue to learn.

He has already filled out this week’s speakers including CBS’ and The Athletic’s Seth Davis, TNT/TBS/NBATV play-by-play commentator Brian Anderson, and TNT’s and ESPN’s Matt Winer. Johnson points out that he has reached out to the likes of ESPN’s Steve Levy and is fielding requests for other speakers.

Johnson gave students advice, fielding many questions to a combined audience of 28.5k people.

"“It’s a tough market,” Johnson said. “It’s very very competitive. … It’s going to take a lot of grit and it’s going to take a thick skin.”"

No one knows the long road ahead for aspiring journalists and broadcasters than Ernie Johnson. He started his career working for a sports radio station, WAGQ-FM, in school at the University of Georgia Grady School of Journalism.

Upon graduation, Johnson found himself in a string of jobs that were in newscasting, not sports. He worked as a news anchor in Macon, Georgia at WMAZ-TV, then a news reporter in Spartanburg, South Carolina at WSPA-TV, then a general news reporter in Atlanta at WSB-TV. After a year, Johnson found another role as the station’s weekend sports anchor and reporter.

Six years later, he found his big break and began his work at TNT and the rest is history.

Ernie Johnson knew he wanted to work in sports but was willing the work in news because it was an opportunity.

"“You know what, whoever is going to give you a shot, that’s where you go,” Johnson said, “especially when you’re at that point in your career when you just want to get started.”"

His wisdom came in loads between the seems of his stories and responses.

For aspiring journalists and people with any interest in the NBA, Johnson’s willingness to host an event like this shows his true character. In the midst of a crisis, he thought of others instead of just himself.

"“I’ve got enough days off,” Johnson joked. “I think those are being taken care of in the course of this.”"

For content, he came up with this idea instead of mustering up something with old NBA game clips and further speculation on the format for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Johnson decided he wanted to spend this time helping others, especially future journalists or work in the sports media industry.

Ernie Johnson stands as the host for the most popular sports – not just NBA – talk show and is viewed as the leading voice in the NBA. In these trying times, his decision to use his experience and connections to help others is a model that all people should be living their lives right now – realizing that we are all in this together and trying to help those around you.

In the middle of this session, he finds himself talking about people that have helped him in his career.

"“You’re going to run into folks who change your life so never forget them.”"

Next. Boston Celtics: Compiling an all-time starting 5. dark

Well, for aspiring journalists, Ernie Johnson and the others that he brings into speak may serve as some of those people for the thousands willing to watch.