Strum Feature Story Phil Strum, Sports Reporter Other (not Listed Above)

Length: 2 pages Subject: Sports Type: Other (not listed above) Paper: #26855639 Related Topics: Sports, Sport, College Sports, Baseball
Excerpt from Other (not listed above) :

¶ … Strum Feature Story

Phil Strum, sports reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal, is not the sort of reporter you meet over a cup of coffee. The affable Strum is easier to track down where the sports are -- in this case at a high school softball game between Spackenkill and Rhineback, played at Nassau Elementary School. Yankee Stadium, it is not, but that hardly matters to Strum. "There's nothing about sport that says the stadium has to be huge or the players celebrities. It's not about that," he argues, displaying his passion.

As the sports reported for the Journal, he covers everything. High school, college and professional sports. Pro-wrestling. Local athletes who have made the big time. The story of Poughkeepsie sports flows through Strum's keyboard, and that's just the way he likes it. "I wake up every day looking forward to my work. I'm at the rink in the winter, on the diamond in the spring, and the gridiron in the fall. Since I was little, I dreamed of this."

...

Already a local legend, Strum won the New York Newspaper Publishers Association's 2012-2013 award for distinguished sports writing. Think for a minute about the papers in the NYNPA and who Strum had to beat to win that award. "I didn't expect to win, that's for sure," Strum remarked, "But it's validation of what I've been doing here. It was really gratifying, but it's an award you have to share with the entire community. These athletes are the ones who make the stories," he says, motioning to the field.

Strum has a lifelong love for hockey, baseball and professional wrestling, and writes about all of them, in addition to covering sports at all different levels in the area. Asked about his dream job, Strum wasted little time responding "Yankees. Or maybe the Rangers. I could cover those two teams, maybe this time of year I'd have to hire an assistant to help with that." Pulling big league double duty sounds impossible, but if there is someone who could pull it off, Strum is him.

"I put in the time. I give coverage to every story. I fish them out. In every game, on every team, there's great stories. But to figure that out, you have to talk to the coaches, and the players, and let them tell you the story. When you…

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That hard work has also included the adoption of technology. "I like reading a newspaper, personally," he says, "but maybe I'm a little biased. But at the end of the day, it's all about the audience, and you have to go where the audience is. So I do a lot of social media, I do videos for the web. You are more connected today than you were in the past. In a way, it's empowering. I can do work while I'm watching this game. But it's distracting, too, so you have to be disciplined. I was raised to be disciplined, so that helps."

Even though Strum makes use of modern technology, he still likes pens and notepads. He laughs about that. "I'm not trying to be old-fashioned, I just think it's more efficient. I use whatever tool is necessary to write better." The proof is in the pudding. Strum's writing is strong, descriptive, and his human stories have resonance.

Phil Strum's work can be read almost every day in the Poughkeepsie Journal, and online at http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com. He also maintains a Twitter account, for blow-by-blow accounts of major sporting events.


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