Friday, June 5, 2009

A lesson from the field

by Larry Young

Eduardo Encina is far from the strawberry field he once worked.

Now a high school and general assignment reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, Encina has had no problem picking his way through either beat. “It’s a matter of knowing what’s important and what’s interesting to people,” he said. “I always look for something that has impact.”

It hasn’t always been that way. Encina, part of the SJI Class of 1997, Encina recalls an incident that almost ended his career before it started. “I confused Ted Turner’s quote about going to Disney Land with going to Disney World,” he said. “All the sports editors were at the conference (APSE convention). I thought no one was going to hire me.”

To the contrary, he was simply chewed out for lack of attention to detail. And he eventually got his start in York, Pa., at the York Daily Record.

His advice: “Don’t disregard things people say. That’s a lesson I’ll never forget.”
Best advice: “Own the room whether you’re covering high school or college. Build relationships with people. Be the guy people tell stuff to.”

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