By Kay Gordon
NEW YORK – In 2014 Blake Ralling transferred from Mississippi Valley State to Lincoln University, with the intention of playing basketball and pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism. Over the next year, the Atlanta native achieved both, graduating with honors. Soon after, Ralling moved to Europe, where he played basketball for one season in Cambrai, France, just two hours north of Paris. After playing basketball, he became a coach and trainer.
Ralling’s interest in journalism stems from his love of playing basketball and just sports in general. He knew what it was like to be a player, but he wanted to experience the professional and reporting side of the sports world. Academically and professionally, Ralling wanted more.
He applied to graduate school and is now in New York, attending the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for his master’s degree. Although it has been a few years since he has been in a classroom, Ralling says his appreciation for journalism has grown.
“I have a better understanding for the art of journalism,” says Ralling. “Being in the era of Trump, you have to be smart in how you deliver messages and your message has to be 100 percent accurate. With Trump running rampant with the fake news movement, journalists must be able to convey a clear and concise delivery and message.”
Ralling gives some sound advice about getting into the journalism field and applying for grad school. “The field of journalism is tough to enter and applying for grad school can be tough as well,” Ralling says. “But you must be relentless when it comes to both – always follow-up, apply yourself, and watch the news.”
He says that a great journalist always knows what’s going on and that it’s important to be relentless and aggressive.
“Don’t be nervous – be open and optimistic.”
(A sample of Ralling’s graduate school video work is below)
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