March 1, 2010

Eliminating the 'Stench of Journalism'

ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson tells his friend, colleague, and former classmate, Seth Wickersham why he wants his articles to read like short stories.

Michael Gluckstadt

Wright Thompson first met Seth Wickersham in the newsroom of the Columbia Missourian, the newspaper run by the University of Missouri's esteemed journalism school. Wickersham had just returned from an internship with the Washington Post; Thompson had been following the southern-rock jam band Widespread Panic around the country. It was 1999 and both were covering the university's football team. "I was intimidated," Thompson recalls.

Over a decade later, the two are senior writers at ESPN and good friends. While they share a title, the Mizzou graduates cover their shared field from vastly different angles. "I've been fascinated by Seth's stories about the Cover 2 or Peyton Manning, but it's just not what I'm into," say Thompson. "That's not how I interact with sports, as a fan or as a journalist. And, let me be honest, I don't think I'm that good at it."

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Article by Michael Gluckstadt

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