Aspiring journalist strikes it big in first major assignment

Blake Wilson gets a chance to pursue his passion as an aspiring photo-journalist at the 2012 Olympics in London, where he arrived July 24 for a 3-week stay. What will he be covering? Stories he hopes the other media will be more likely to miss.

Life is all about finding one’s passion, whether it be sports, music, art or somewhere in between. What’s rare is the opportunity to live out that passion and transform it into everyday’s work.For Arizona State University student Blake Wilson, one of life’s passions has taken the magical leap to life’s reality.

Wilson is studying journalism with an emphasis in business and has earned the opportunity to cover the 2012 Summer Olympics for ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism.

“I’ll be pursuing stories outside the typical game reviews,” Wilson said. “I’ll be crafting stories about people, about their lives and their journey to the Olympics, whether they’re athletes, spectators or diplomats.”

Wilson is one of 18 Cronkite students accepted through an interview process to cover the Olympics. He arrived in London on July 24 and already is making plans for the three weeks he’ll be there.

Instead of covering the typical ‘who won what’ aspect of the games, however, Wilson will be looking behind the scenes to offer a perspective that he hopes other media outlets will be less likely to offer.

Blake Wilson aims his camera at Elizabeth Tower, formerly known as Big Ben. — Photo courtesy Blake Wilson

It’s an approach that fits with his view of journalism, which he says is about the thrill of the catch, meaning the challenge of going into the field and experiencing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities while bringing in unique stories.

“I entered journalism with the intent of learning something and doing something new every day,” Wilson said.

“It’s not an office job where you just sit around. You’re actually out in real life, telling stories. Who doesn’t love non-fiction, right?”

Wilson graduated from Boulder Creek High School in Anthem, and chose ASU over the University of Texas, which he had originally favored, because of a scholarship opportunity.

While two of his biggest passions are film-making and photography, he hopes to use his talents as part of a marketing or public-relations campaign after he graduates.

As to laying the groundwork for some future business venture, Wilson spent last summer at an internship with Forbes Media in New York City where he developed a daily show call Market Blasters. His focus was on marketing, production and editing the show, while learning as much as he could about investing and the business world.

“Most journalists would say it’s going to the ‘dark side’ of media,” Wilson said. “I just like the idea of getting my videos and photography recognized and appreciated.”

The group of aspiring ASU journalists will have just three days off to explore during their 21-day stay, which Wilson plans to use to track one more passion, art.

“Though I might want to see the usual things, Big Ben, the Stonehenge, I want to do a tour of (British street artist) Banksy,” Wilson said. “He’s one of the most well-known of his type in the world and his pieces are scattered around London, so I’ll probably take a day scouting out where to find his work.”

So what else is he looking forward to during this adventure?

“I’m excited to have stories to tell,” Wilson said. “It’s something to cross off the bucket list, you know, being in the middle of all of the Olympic chaos.”


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