The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

Q&A | Pitt alum and sports journalist Dexter Henry reflects on time with TPN, offers advice to Pitt students

Dexter+Henry+poses+for+a+photo.
Courtesy of Dexter Henry
Dexter Henry poses for a photo.

Dexter Henry is a Pitt alum who has worked in the sports journalism industry since his graduation from Pitt in 2005. He began his career at the Brooklyn Skyline Newspaper, where he covered general assignment news and sports for the paper. 

Henry has also worked at the New York Post for digital journalism. Additionally, he has worked on numerous freelance pieces for different news outlets, including a letter he wrote to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. 

Henry said he has loved to write since he was young. Eventually, his passion for writing translated into an interest in sports journalism. Henry began in middle school, when he started writing for his school’s newspaper. Since then, he has never stopped writing, and his first career after graduating from Pitt was in written journalism. 

Once Henry began his journey at Pitt, he joined several student organizations to help his journalism endeavors, including The Pitt News. Henry said that joining outlets, such as The Pitt News, is important because students can apply their skills and get real-life experience. 

Henry gave some pieces of advice for students who aspire to work in journalism after graduation. Despite Pitt not having a journalism program, Henry said students can still become full-time journalists through the school.

The Pitt News: How does The Pitt News help students become better writers?

Dexter Henry: It’s one thing to learn things in the classroom. But The Pitt News is a place where you can actually apply it. You can test out your writing skills, test your interview skills. Then, you can get feedback from your upper class editors on the page. It’s really good for you to get that feedback. It’s a place you can really test your skill and receive feedback. Without that, you’re not getting the rest you need to do, and it helps you develop your skills by knowing what areas need improvement.

Another aspect is that student-run media is so important because students are the body of the school. They are the voice of the school. You live day to day, you know your peers, your athletes. You guys are the voice of that. It’s so important to be a part of that because it teaches you a lot journalistically to be part of a community and the responsibility of being a journalist.

TPN: What should undergraduate students at Pitt, who want to pursue a career in journalism, be practicing to get better at their writing? 

Henry: If you want to be better at journalism, if you want to be better at writing or story-telling, you’ve got to be reading. Make sure your sources of what you read are pretty diverse. You don’t want to be reading from the same places all of the time. Reading from a variety of sources allows you to have different perspectives.

For students at Pitt, use your time at the University the most that you can and put your energy into what it is that you want to do. If it’s writing, write. Try to get as many reps in as you can writing, and take full advantage of your time at Pitt trying to do what it is that you can see yourself doing as a career. 

Also, preparation is so valuable. Practice preparing. The more research you can do the better. The more knowledge on a subject the better. Prepare, prepare. Preparation is fundamental for being a good journalist.

TPN: Why is being a well-rounded writer important? 

Henry: Find yourself outlets where you can hone your skills, whether it’s Pitt News, where you can have the opportunity to write storytelling. I also would encourage young journalists to push themselves to become storytellers in other mediums, whether it’s radio, podcasting or broadcast journalism. Learn different forms of journalism to become as well rounded as you can be. I think becoming a well-rounded journalist is the most important thing you can do.

I want students to take advantage of any opportunity even if it’s something you don’t necessarily want to do. This will help you develop skills in all areas, and you will truly learn a lot. To get to the point where I am in my career, I had to do things that I didn’t want to do. However, by doing every opportunity given to you, it builds up your experience and exposes you to connections in the business who can help you further down the road. 

TPN: What should students be doing outside of school to become better writers?

Henry: Invest in yourself. You can create your own content, on your own. Now with technology evolving, there are so many ways to get your content out there. Take initiative for yourself. By creating content on your own, it sets you apart from anyone else because you’re putting in that extra step. Additionally, potential employers are able to see this own content and make you a more desirable candidate. Create your own outlet.

About the Contributor
Lily Peters, Staff Writer
Lily Peters is a sports staff writer for The Pitt News. She is a part of the College of General Studies class of 2027 and is majoring in Media and Professional Communications. Additionally, she is pursuing a certificate in Television and Broadcast Arts.