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Journalism student produces for ESPN+

Student wearing a mask standing in front of production equipment

Kierstin Lindkvist has always been drawn to stories that surround sports, athletes and team rivalries. At the WVU Reed College of Media, she found the perfect place to fulfill her dream of telling these stories, while also honing skills in sports production.  

“During my first weekend on campus, I attended a student organization fair and met Chris Ostien and Scott Bartlett from WVU Athletics Video,” said Lindkvist. “I thought it was just a club to get early exposure, but to my surprise they said I would be a part of the production crew.”

Since then, the journalism major with a minor in sport communication from Severn, Maryland, has been involved in pre-production game scheduling, feature package creation and game-day programming and production. She has met with coaches and players before and after games to develop storylines and produce post-game interviews.    

Lindkvist has steadily gained experience and taken on bigger roles. Most recently, she was asked to be a producer for Big 12 Now broadcasts on ESPN+ through WVU’s partnership with the network. In March, she produced the home opener for WVU Baseball, and in November 2020, she worked with College of Media Shott Teaching Assistant Professor Chuck Scatterday to produce the women’s volleyball match between #1 Texas and #13 West Virginia from start to finish.

“These shows take more pre-prep than people realize,” Lindkvist said. “In order to have those graphics and stories, you have to take time to do the research. You have to talk to the sports information directors and the coaches, read the game notes and do additional digging to figure out what direction you want the show to go.”

Shows vary vastly across different sports, and Scatterday is trying to expose his students to all types of sports production, as well as the “in the moment” nature of being a real-time producer.

"It has been a passion of mine for a long time to help the next generation of content providers and storytellers learn the craft of live sports productions,” said Scatterday, who worked for ESPN for more than 25 years before joining the College. “Kierstin is one of the dozen WVU students that manage all the show elements of the productions for the Big 12 Now on ESPN+ events."

Next, Scatterday hopes to incorporate Big 12 Now events into the classroom to expose Sports and Adventure Media students to a variety of production roles, including producer, director, associate producer, associate director, ISO producer, graphics producer, tape producer, production assistant, operations producer, camera operator, audio, audio assistant and video engineer.  

As for Lindkvist, the experience she gained through working with Scatterday and on live sporting events has cemented her career path. She is currently part of the first all-female sports anchor team for “WVU News” and hopes to work as a producer or anchor for a major sports organization after her anticipated December 2021 graduation.

“I view every experience as an opportunity to add value,” Lindkvist said. “Every experience I have had has confirmed that sports broadcast production is the career path that drives me. It's been such an honor working with Chuck Scatterday. He knows the ins and outs of producing through and through, so to be able to work and learn from someone of such high caliber has been fantastic.”