If you haven’t been following Joshua A. Vinson (@TheJoshAVinson) on Twitter, you need to. Vinson keeps UofM and sports fans up to date on everything you need to know about your favorite sports. A Chicago native, Vinson moved to Memphis in 2014 and majored in journalism. Since then, he has provided coverage of daily Tigers sporting events while serving as a Sports Editor and reporter for The Daily Helmsman.
While covering the Tigers, he has also covered the NBA, NFL and some of the most high profile athletes, including Cam Newton, Derrick Rose, John Wall and many more. He also covered several All-Star and Playoff games. I sat down with the set-to-graduate Sports Editor to find out more about his experiences as a person and as both sports writer and editor.
Harlan McCarthy: When did you begin beat writing?
Joshua A. Vinson: It kind of started off weird. I always wanted to be a meteorologist. I was going to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the time. My parents got ready to move to Memphis, so I decided to do an internship at the Channel 5 NBC affiliate here in Memphis working with Ron Childers. I was doing meteorology, and at the same time, I had to do this paper about 10 different high-profile athletes but couldn’t write about college players. So I asked him (Ron Childers) to put me in contact with the sports director at Channel 5, Jarvis Greer. Next thing I know, I was covering my first Memphis Grizzlies media day. I had so much fun doing that. So I went to Minnesota and started covering the Minnesota Timberwolves, which was during Kevin Love’s last year. From there, I worked with Fox Sports in Virginia covering the Wizards, originally the Cowboys, and then the Carolina Panthers.
HM: What was your experience like?
JV: It’s crazy because when you go there, you don’t really think about it until after the fact. When you put the info on your Instagram, Facebook and all your friends are like, “Dang, that’s crazy. You’re court-side at Madison Square Garden standing in the Mecca (of sports).” It’s a great experience because nothing is better than having an office with 20,000 people screaming, and that’s your workplace. It could be a cubicle, it could be an office, but that’s your workplace. I’m very blessed and thankful for those opportunities and just looking forward to graduation to see how all that manifests into the next phase of my life.
HM: As an editor and reporter, can you tell me how you supervise other reporters and editors works?
JV: So the cool thing about my job is that I have a tremendous staff that makes my job easier. All I have to do is say do this or that. I guide them in areas to be successful in that you might not learn in the classroom. I individually walk each one of my reporters to the football stadium or the basketball arena. I show them this is going to be the function of your daily workplace, and they love it. They will all tell you Josh sometimes was gone, but when we needed him, he was there. I helped them and showed them the daily life of a reporter. I just gave them experiences I had and told them this is what it will be like in the future.