Julia Morales, sideline reporter workshop hosted by the University of Houston

Julia Morales, sideline reporter workshop hosted by the University of Houston

Jack J. Valenti School of Communication welcomed Emmy Award winning reporter, Julia Morales back for her second annual Sideline Reporter Workshop.

The day-long workshop took place Saturday, Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m and hosted both high school and college students.

Morales hosted in-class learning followed by studio time next door at the Lance T. Funston Communication Center.

The Center’s production studio allowed workshop attendees to get a feel for sideline reporting. Students had the chance to put their reporting skills to the test while working directly with Morales, where she provided tips and tricks to stand out when presenting a story.

Prior to filming, the workshop attendees had the chance to hear more about Morales’ tips to
being a good sideline reporter, her prep for game days and what an average game day looks like at the Astros, Minute Maid Stadium.

“Being a good sideline reporter entails being prepared in advance, knowing what
questions to ask, understanding one’s audience, being comfortable in front a camera when
reporting and having a genuine appreciation for the game,” Morales said.

According to Morales, all of this translates both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, such as when interviewing everyone from coaches to players.

While some might think being in front of a camera is the extent of the job, Morales keeps a busy
schedule; especially when covering the Astros, in addition to being a mother, she said.

“Being a sports reporter takes commitment, and it can entail travel but also extends beyond
traditional game hours,” Morales said.

She can find herself at the Astros stadium by 2 p.m. despite games starting at 7 p.m.

From checking social networks for updates on players and coaches, to phone calls with various
producers, later followed by interviews at the clubhouse and watching batting practice there is
always work to be done - this is all before the game even begins, said Morales.

“My goal for the workshop is for attendees to get an idea of what the job of sideline reporting is like for attendees to experience a behind the scenes look of what reporters do daily,” Morales said.

In addition, students were able to watch pre-recorded video interviews of other female sideline reporters like Taylor McGregor and Cayleigh Griffin, among a few other reporters and their perspectives on the profession.

Included in these pre-recorded video interviews were A.J. Hinch, manager of the Detroit Tigers
and Jeff Traylor, head football coach at University of Texas San Antonio, where they provided their perspective of being on the other side of sports reporting.

Before transitioning to the studio to practice, attendees had a healthy and tasty lunch catered by

Morales also held a table outside the filming studio with her merchandise from her company,
“baseball, y’all,” where she offered hats and t-shirts for sale at a discounted rate.

The event was covered by Valenti Communication interns with the social media team included,
showing a behind the scenes look of the workshop on the Valenti Instagram page which can be found under highlights.

“With the ever-growing interest for sports and sports broadcast, these types of events are something that can be special at UH,” Morales said.

Morales also took the time to share a little bit about her background and how she got started in
sports broadcasting and reporting.

While Morales is most arguably well-known for her work on pre- and post-game shows with the
Houston Astros and Houston Rockets, she got her start out of college as a weekend sports anchor in Sherman, Texas.

“Focusing on networking, internships and being open to opportunities are things to consider when looking to break into this world,” Morales said.

The event concluded at 4 p.m. where Morales ended the session by answering any additional questions the students might have had, along with a photo opportunity with each attendee.