The Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald and Sugar Grove Herald have a new sports reporter.
Jacob Bartelson started with us earlier this month. If his name looks familiar, that’s because Jacob interned with us in 2014 and has completed two stints at our company’s Pro Football Weekly operation.
In addition, Jacob grew up in St. Charles, graduating from St. Charles North High School in 2013 and Ball State University in Indiana in 2017.
I sat down with Jacob to learn more about why he likes being a sports journalist. Readers can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-797-1021. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Kathy Balcazar: What do you like about local sports reporting?
Jacob Bartelson: Coming from the area, I think, it was kinda just a little part of [me] that never left. And I think it’s really an opportunity to grow your storytelling skills and arsenal. [In professional sports], you have your set rosters and you have all the stats that you could possibly want. And pretty much anything that you need, the professional organization has. Here, you have to take your own stats; you have to double check all the rosters. … It really kind of tests you to be a jack-of-all-trades. And what a great opportunity being 22 years old and trying to grow the craft.
Balcazar: What do you hope to bring to the sports section in the Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald and Sugar Grove Herald?
Bartelson: I’d like just to revive the spirit of what the preps coverage has been in the past. I talk to a lot of people, and they were really complimentary of it over the years, and I just want to continue it. I had a lot of good people I worked under with [former Kane County Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab and former sports reporter Kevin Druley] and everybody else. So, just continue the groundwork that they had laid for me and, hopefully, build it to another echelon.
Balcazar: You’ve been on the job for only two weeks so far, but what has been a stand-out moment for you?
Bartelson: I really enjoyed the Fox Valley Marathon. That was really interesting to me. You have to do man-on-the-street interviews, people you’ve never talked with before in your life, and you have to find their life story in six minutes, and you end up doing it. You really meet some cool people. What I think is great about journalism is that everybody’s got a story. Everybody has something to share, and if you give them the time and you ask the right questions, you can find that out.
Balcazar: Who is your favorite pro athlete, male and female?
Bartelson: I don’t have a specific name that’s coming to mind, just people that conduct themselves well in public. That’s something that I really look for, especially now [that I’m] older. When you’re younger, you’re more worried about how many touchdowns they score and the type of player that they are on the field. But then, when you’re older, you look at the whole picture.
Kathy Balcazar is weekly group editor for the Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald, Sugar Grove Herald and Suburban Life Media, and is a member of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board. Contact her at email@example.com or 630-845-5368. Learn more about NINA at ninaonline.org.