ESPN’s Don Van Natta and Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post
Episode 64 of the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch features two guests. First up is Don Van Natta, an investigative reporter for ESPN whose work appears across that company’s platforms. Van Natta is the host of the docuseries “Backstory,” whosedebut episode “Serena vs. The Umpire” launches Aug. 18 on ABC. He is followed by Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post. In January Janes moved from her longtime role as the Washington Nationals beat reporter to covering the 2020 Presidential election. In this podcast, Van Natta discusses his coverage of NFL ownership and the reporting skills needed to uncover that secretive world; why he believes ESPN is committed to journalism long-term; how he describes his new docuseries; why he chose Serena Williams as the opening subject; the future episodes of the series including an examination of Shoeless Joe Jackson; the most important trait a sports reporter should have; how to ask a good questions of a subject; how a reporter knows when a subject is lying to him or her; the challenge of navigating Twitter as a journalist; how he views ESPN prohibiting staffers from commenting on “pure politics; whether ESPN can cover the nexus of politics and race and sports, and much more. Janes discusses her move from covering the Nationals to the Kamala Harris campaign for The Washington Post; the most challenging part of that transition; how she was received by political reporters; a major social media mistake she made early in her tenure and the impact of that; the similarities between covering a sports beat and a political campaign; how she prepared for her new assignment; navigating social media and the differences and similarities of sports and political Twitter; her assessment of the Nationals playoff chances; the food at the Iowa State Fair and more. You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and more.
Garrett Graf, author of "The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11", and Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto, the co-hosts of “The Lead.”
About The Show
The Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch is a weekly show that features interviews with members of the sports media about their work, as well as roundtables with sports media reporters about television, digital, audio/radio, print, and other forms of media. You can read Richard’s work at The Athletic and hear his words at Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto.