UK Journalism Alums Discuss Their Careers in Sports, News Reporting Tonight

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2016) — Three journalists who graduated from the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media in the College of Communication and Information will talk with students today, Monday, Sept. 12, about their roads to successful careers in journalism.

The program, "Hurdling Barriers to Your Journalism Career," begins at 6:30 p.m. in the UK Athletics Auditorium of the William T. Young Library. The university family and the community are invited. The program is funded by a diversity grant from the college and by the school.

Michael Eaves is a 1994 UK graduate and currently a studio anchor at ESPN, who recently returned from covering the Olympics in Brazil. He joined the sports network in 2015 after three years at Al Jazeera America, first as the main sports anchor and then as a news anchor.

He also has worked for FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket in Los Angeles. Eaves served as one of the primary hosts for "In My Own Words" and "Before The Bigs," two original programming series on the regional sports networks.

 He joined FOX in 2003 after a four-year stint in Memphis at WPTY/WLMT-TV. After graduation from UK, he worked for seven years with WKYT/WDKY-TV in Lexington as a sports anchor, reporter and producer.

Eaves won four L.A. Area Emmy awards with FOX Sports West. In 2012, he won a Telly Award for Best Sports Feature, and the L.A. Press Club named him the Best Television Anchor in Southern California in 2013.

Former Kentucky Kernel editor Jen Smith is a woman covering a man’s sport, UK football. She has been a sports writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader since 2000, before she graduated. She has reported on everything from high school sports to auto racing.

This is the fifth year she has covered the university’s football team, but she has covered the women’s basketball team for more than a decade. During college, she interned in the sports departments of the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Herald-Leader.

Smith lives in downtown Lexington with her photographer husband, their two boys and two dogs. Her story on UK punter Landon Foster and the Ethiopian teen he befriended during a summer missions trip won the David Dick “What a Great Story” award given annually by the School of Journalism and Media.

Curtis Tate graduated from UK in 2002 with a degree in journalism and wrote for the Kentucky Kernel.

He now works as a Washington correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. He writes for the Herald-Leader, Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat, and The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle.

He won the National Press Foundation’s 2015 Feddie Award for his coverage of oil train safety. He was a fellow in the foundation’s Paul Miller reporting program in 2011-12.

Before joining McClatchy in 2008, Tate worked at The Wall Street Journal as a copy and news editor. He began his newspaper career in 2003 as a Dow Jones News Fund copy editing intern at The Indianapolis Star. 

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