Behind the Scenes of the Minnesota Timberwolves Media

Story by Barrett Herrig

Many people love to watch professional sports but very few actually think about the business behind it.
Alex King, public relations director for the Minnesota Lynx, shed some light on what goes on  behind the scenes in the sports industry.

Behind the Scenes In Professional Basketball

Operations in the public relations department for the Lynx vary from day to day.

Alex King

Alex King
Minnesota Lynx photo

Alex said, the average day involves:

  • Formulating pitches for local media
  • Formulating pitches for national media
  • Setting up interviews for the players with the media

Basically, a big part of his job is to make sure they are very visible in the local media, both on radio, television and in the newspapers.

Challenges With Public Relations

The most challenging part about King’s  job is  balancing expectations between departments and groups of people. He said that he is often times put in a position between what the front office/sales side would like and what the basketball operations/players/coaches can actually do.

“There are plenty of instances where someone will come to me with a great idea involving a number of players or coaches, but unfortunately for a variety of reasons, it can’t work,” he said.

I then asked him what the most challenging issue he has faced in his career was.  He replied that the toughest challenge was learning the routines and preferences for all of the players and coaches on the team.

Perks Of the Job

Setting the challenges aside, I asked him what he enjoys most about his job.  He said that he loves the traveling aspects.

“It gives me a chance to see parts of the country that I wasn’t familiar with, and it really helps build my relationship with the players and coaches,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of getting to know everybody’s routines and habits because it comes to be incredibly useful when pitching stories to media members or trying to schedule interviews/photo-shoots.

Background History

The sports field is what I dream to be involved in someday, so I asked Alex how he got to where he is today.

He said hard work, perseverance, and a little luck.  He had family connections and was able to get an internship with a sports entertainment group in Salt Lake City, working with the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Bees and the Miller Motorsports Park.

He worked thankless hours to prove his capabilities.  He then applied for a part-time internship with the Minnesota Timberwolves PR department, which turned into the full time job that he has today.

Advice For Job Seekers

King’s advice for somebody going into the field of media, or any career for that matter,  is to never say “no.”

He also said that whenever given an opportunity; prove that you can go above and beyond, no matter how simple the task.

Taylor Adrian

Taylor Adrian
Minnesota Lynx photo

Make yourself known and stand out from the crowd.

“The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is partially correct, but really it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you,” he said.

“If the right people know you, and know that you can do the job and do it well, then you’re set.”

Taylor Adrian, a Lynx/Timberwolves sales employee, agrees with King.

Working hard and staying ambitious is how he got where he is today.

“The sports world is a popular field that everybody wants to be involved with, hundreds of people applied for my position, Adrian said.”

“Hard work  landed me this job, never give up.”

For More Information About the Lynx or the Timberwolves:

Click here for the Timberwolves webpage, or here for the Lynx.

The Twitter handles for these teams are :

  • @MNtimberwolves
  • @minnesotalynx
  • @Twolves_PR

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Contact: Barrett Herrig

86 Cottage Path

Mankato, MN 56001

April 10, 2013

Feldstein will give a talk at Media Day celebration

Mark Feldstein

Mark Feldstein
University of Maryland photo

MANKATO, Minn. – Mark Feldstein, former investigative correspondent for CNN and ABC, is coming to give a speech at MSU Mankato’s Media Day celebration Tuesday, April 16.

Feldstein, currently the Richard Eaton Broadcast Journalism Professor at the University of Maryland, will give his speech based off of his 2010 national award winning book “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture.”

Media Day begins with a scholarship reception at 3 p.m. in CSU 253-5.Feldstein will address members of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and others interested in becoming journalists from 4-5 p.m. in the same room.

His speech will follow in the Ostrander Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Feldstein’s visit to MSU Mankato’s Media Day was made possible by a grant from the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation.

These events are of no cost and are open to the public.

Contact Barrett Herrig with any questions at 507-822-1865 or email at


MicrophoneAudio plays a very important role in today’s media.  It has the ability to take a mediocre story to the next level if done properly.  Poynter University is a great place to go for tips and tricks of the trade for little or no cost.  The session Poynter offers, telling stories with sound, gives great instruction on how to produce a successful audio clip.

A Few Tips From Poynter

  • Scout out the location prior to the interview.  This will give you an opportunity to find the best location to record your host with minimal interference.
  • Record some natural and ambient sounds to play throughout your recording.  This helps the listeners visualize the place setting.
  • Choose the correct microphone for the application.  There are many styles of microphones that serve different purposes so you want to be sure you have the right one.
  • Make sure that the person you are interviewing answers in complete sentences.  You want to do as little talking as possible, additional audio can be added back at the studio.

These are just a few of the important tips that I have learned from Poynter.  It covers many other areas related to media such as language of the image, video storytelling for the web and five steps to multimedia stories.

It is a great learning tool and I would recommend it to anybody interested.

Twelve Construction Workers Die In 18 Months

The Las Vegas Sun wrote a great online article about the deaths of construction workers on the strip.  This article exposed the safety issues that ended up being responsible for twelve deaths in 18 months.


Several photos were taken that captured the emotions of family members and friends to give readers an excellent perspective of what they are going through.  These things are what helped this story receive the great honor of the Pultizer Prize.

This story became very popular not only because of the quality, but because it was an extremely newsworthy subject that was very interesting to the public.  Twelve people dying within 18 months due to similar causes raises eyebrows and attracts readership.

The sense of urgency to publish the story is what gave the Las Vegas Sun the leading edge.

Aside  —  Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

This document was written in four different sections. Click the links below to jump to the different sections.

Click to jump to section:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

The declining number of police in schools concerns parents

Story by: Barrett Herrig

School shootings in Newton have surfaced an issue with the number of cops in Minnesota schools.

Since our nations recession hit in 2007, funding for school resource officers or SROs has dropped.

After the school shooting in Newton, CT recently, parents have, once again, become concerned about their children’s safety at school. With a police officer at school, it makes them feel better about dropping their kids off at the doors.

SROs do more than just prevent shootings. They handle drug problems, bullying, theft and the list goes on.

Making a choice
Schools have tough decisions to make when it comes to handling the safety of it’s students.

Some hire an SRO, others save money by hiring a private security officer and many others employ nobody at all.

The average SRO costs $70,500 where a security officer costs $23,000 less.
It would cost $138 million a year if all 1,968 public schools in Minnesota employed an SRO.

Benefits of an SRO
• Student safety
• Easy communication between law enforcement and school
• Helps kids become comfortable with law enforcement

Catching problems before they happen is the main job of an officer and this is exactly what parents want to happen.

What should we be willing to pay for the safety of students? Money is scarce, but a human life is priceless.

“Argo” and “Life of Pi” dominate the Academy Awards

Story by: Barrett Herrig

First lady Michelle Obama accompanied Jack Nicholson on stage at the Academy Awards to present an Oscar to Ben Affleck for best picture with his film “Argo.”  This was only one of three awards won by the film, but it still did not take home the most.

“Life of Pi” hit a grand slam for the night, taking home four trophies, including the Oscar awarded to Ang Lee for best director.

Jennifer Lawrence trips going up the steps at the Academy Awards.

Jennifer Lawrence trips going up the steps at the Academy Awards. 

 Other Winners:

  • Best actor: Daniel Day- Lewis for his role as Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln”
  • Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence in the film “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”
  • Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables”

Many awards were handed out that night, but Lawrence’s will probably be the most memorable.  As she walked up to receive her Oscar, she tripped on the steps. It was an embarrassing moment for her, but entertaining for everyone else.

The Internet has made many changes over the last few years on ways to gather news.  There are the standard news sites such as Fox and CNN, but the growing popularity of social media sites, such as Twitter, have made grasping a constant flow of news easier than ever.

If you have a Twitter account, you probably know by now that you have complete control of selecting the people, companies, and news sources that you would like to follow.  As they tweet their allotted 140-character message, it is instantly posted on your timeline for you to read. This is what can make Twitter a convenient source to read news.  Reading a short post to get important information is not only easier, but also faster than reading a full story.  Keep in mind that if you would like to read further into a story, most sources post a link so you may do so.

Reading off of your timeline is not the only way to keep posted with fresh news.  Twitter also gives the option to hash tag (#) words, or acronyms, to connect with everybody talking about the same topic.  For example, President Barack Obama recently gave the State of the Union address last Tuesday.  “#SOTU” was a popular tag for tweeters following along with Obama’s speech.  Using sites such as Twitterfall, by entering #SOTU into the search bar, made it easy to watch a constant stream of what people had to say about this event.  With that being said, is Twitter an effective reporting source for news on big topics such as the SOTU address?  In my opinion, with few exceptions, it is.

When following along with a large topic on Twitter, you have to be careful as to what you believe.  Although there are many good, constructive tweets, there are equally as many bad ones.  There is a lot of garbage posted that can be distracting, but it is easy to weed through.  What I mean by this is you will know a good or bad tweet when you see one.  When I followed the SOTU address, I found that Twitterfall was a good source to use, but it became overwhelming because of the massive quantities of tweets being made at times.  According to Twitter Blog, at various points in the speech, there were 24,000 tweets being made per-minute.  This made watching the TV and following along on Twitter rather difficult, but does not discredit the value it has on relaying good updates.  A combination of reading my timeline and using Twitterfall worked best for me.

Overall, with the fast paced society we live in today, Twitter makes it very easy to keep posted.  I have had Twitter since 2009, but have only been active with my account for the last two years and almost to a fault, it has become an addiction.  Any second I get a chance to take a glimpse at my phone, I do.  It has proven itself, for me, to be a very good source to connect with friends and read the news.

The Future of News

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Overall I think that the Page One film was good.  It was interesting to take a look inside a major paper company to see how it operates.  I believe the main point this film is trying to get across is that even though times are very trying right now, the New York Times is still managing to be successful.  Their employees are going the extra mile to secure their place in the company and in turn, it secures the company as well.

All writers and reporters are looking for that page one story and fighting for that spot in the paper.  In my opinion, if they continue to work at that level, people will read the paper.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the actual printed copy or on the web, the company’s success is certain.  The New York Times, along with many other companies, are constantly adapting to changes in the world to be competitive and successful.  This is key in order to survive, and Page One has exposed that it is possible.

When comparing the film Page One with Journalism: A 1940 Vocational Film, the most obvious difference was the technology.  With the advancements in technology today, it is much easier to deliver the news.  A reporter can now post the news instantaneously with the use of a cell phone versus calling back to the paper to deliver the story and send it to the press.

Journalism itself, I believe, has changed in a few ways.  As Dr. Ellen Mrja has said, journalists and paper companies used to dictate and publish what they thought was important news.  I believe that today, with the help of the internet, journalists let the readers form their own opinion of what is, or is not news.  Everyone has different tastes, so if you broaden the amount of topics to be written about, the marketplace for news opens up vastly.

Technology makes it much easier for people to find the news they are looking for, but I do not believe that it changes the news itself.  In my opinion, news is the same but is opening up to many other topics. With the ease of publishing the news to the public, more time can be spent writing about the non-traditional topics of journalism than possible years ago.  This is what makes the news as interesting and important as it ever has been.

I believe that it is a person’s responsibility to stay up to date with their surroundings.  It is not only important for our personal well-being, but our nation’s as well.  Online news feeds such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc., have made the news much more entertaining than before.  It has become the addiction to millions of subscribers who cannot go five minutes without getting their dose of news.  With this being said, the importance of news greater than ever.  I predict a change in how it is presented, from print to digital media, but if news distributers adapt they will survive.