Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

LA Times sports writer speaks on Rio campus

Los Angeles Times beat writer for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, Broderick Turner, visited Rio Hondo on Oct. 8 in the Learning Resource Center to give a speech to Rio’s journalism students and any student interested in public relations or communications.

Dean of Communications, Robert Holcomb, arranged for Turner to visit Rio Hondo after meeting him at a Clipper’s game in April (during game 7 of the Western Coference Quaterfinals against the Golden State Warriors). Holcomb briefly introduced himself and asked if Turner gave speeches to colleges, in which Turner did not respond right away due to his duty of covering the basketball game.

Turner gave Holcomb his email address, in which Turner would later follow up with him and arrange to visit Rio and speak to students.

A great turnout was on hand as journalism students, including the El Paisano staff, listened to Turner talk for roughly an hour about his current duties, how he began his career, and many interesting stories about his experiences with the Lakers and Clippers players, coaches, and staff.

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Turner described to students as being a “jock” in high school and did not primarily focus on school (although he did write for the school paper). He later attended San Diego State University, playing basketball for a year, before realizing his career would be in journalism and not as an athlete.

Turner however began his career in public relations before getting a start as a writer for the Pasadena Star News (his hometown).

With the Pasadena Star News, Turner wrote everything from news to entertainment before later covering sports such as University of California, Los Angeles football. Turner soon after moved to Bakersfield where he covered numerous of sports events such as local high school, college, and minor league sports.

The Los Angeles Dodgers at the time had their Single-A minor league baseball team where he covered future stars such as Eric Karros and Mike Piazza.

Turner noted to students that it is single handily important to form relationships with people when working in the media.

For example, he discussed how he took care of Karros at times, buying him food when Karros had little to no money. Karros would later return the favor when he broke out in the major leagues with the Dodgers, establishing a wonderful connection.

This goes to show just how truly special it is to establish connections and relationships with the people you encounter as a reporter and journalist.

Today, Turner has been the beat writer for the Lakers and Clippers for over a decade now covering significant events in the past such as the Lakers five NBA championships, and the controversial Donald Sterling issue (in which he made racist remarks over a phone call with his girlfriend about the team he owns, the Los Angeles Clippers), which took place earlier this year.

Turner describes his life as very fast pace and always busy, as his phone tends to blow up from time to time. NBA agents, media officials, players and coaches all contact him via text messaging and phone calls.

“I’ll get calls sometimes from a players agent asking why I said this particular thing about him and I’ll tell him specifically why”, says Turner.

Turner gives the agent the player stats for the night, proving his point as to why he wrote what he wrote. Turner described many interesting stories to the students such as his relationships with key people such as Kobe Bryant.

“I started covering [the Lakers] around the same time Kobe began with the team. I’ve known him since he was seventeen, know his wife, and have had dinner with his mom and dad”, said Turner with a huge smile on his face.

As he smiled and remained happy throughout the course of his speech, one can instantly tell just how much Turner loves his job and how proud he must be of himself.

After his speech was done, Turner allowed students to ask questions as they pleased. One student in particular asked Turner how long it takes him to write a story.

Turner described his process as typing his story through the duration of the basketball game in order to beat the deadline of 10:30 p.m.

After questions were completed, Turner ended with “Thank you guys for your time and good luck on accomplishing your goals.”

Turner visited the El Paisano newsroom shortly after and received a tour of how things get done by adviser John Francis and the editors of the newspaper.

In talking with Turner briefly and asking what his future endeavors are, Turner replied with, “Hmm. Man that’s a great question. To be honest I really don’t know, although I would love to cover sports nationally.”

It seems as if Turner is still working hard while still enjoying this long career and the thing he has accomplished. Turner definitely left an inspirational impact on Rio’s journalism students that hope to accomplish their individual goals, strive for a career such as Turner’s and remain passionate about journalism as a whole.

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