YDR Insider

Part of the USA Today Network

Staff Q&As: Meet assistant sports editor Jess Sprenkle

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer posts with each journalist will run on Mondays. This morning, meet assistant sports editor Jess Sprenkle. She has a hand in almost everything the sports department does — from online scores and stats at GameTimePA to paginating the section each night.

Name: Jessica Sprenkle
Lives in: City of York
Hometown: West Manchester Township
Position at the YDR: Assistant sports editor
Years with the YDR: Since May 2008
Graduated from: Susquehanna University
With a degree in: Communications with an emphasis in journalism, minor in political science
Twitter: @jsprenk
Email: jsprenkle@ydr.com
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I grew up on an old York County family farm, moved to a place even more rural for college, came back after graduating and moved downtown. Something about York County has held me in place: It’s home.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I always loved English class and the parts of other classes that involved writing and making posters or visual displays, either on paper or digitally. My job lets me do those favorite things nearly every day. I also love to read and learn, which are mandatory parts of the job.

2. How do you see journalism changing? There’s a growing demand for creativity: We need to find different ways to reach out to our audience, whether through a new platform or by presenting information in a freshly accessible way. Everyone has to be able and willing to help report the news, no matter what his or her “job” normally entails.

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? My favorite days are when I get to help coordinate the bigger picture — monitoring and updating our various platforms, coordinating coverage, keeping an ear to the ground for breaking news, and then later boiling it down to a concise, clear, visually appealing package for online and print. My least favorite days are full of meetings.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Still sleeping — I work the night shift. But later in the day I might be exploring the city, homebrewing beer, watching football, hanging out with friends, checking out live music or reading.

5. What’s been your favorite project or story? Why? Last winter’s story on Greg Witman’s murder was a huge challenge for me as an editor and designer. It took up four entire pages and was incredibly emotional. It also was a huge collaboration between departments and editors, and I was really proud of what we produced.
I also really enjoyed coordinating coverage for the York Revolution’s second straight Atlantic League championship this fall. All of our reporters and photographers did an awesome job before, during and after the game, which made it easy to interact via social media and update our website, as well as put it all together in print.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: A big Diet Coke, a big bottle of water and a cup of coffee.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: Charles Apple’s visual journalism blog (http://apple.copydesk.org, @charlesapple) never ceases to inspire me. It’s an awesome collection of great visuals and great work being done across the country.

8. What’s your favorite movie? Book? I can’t pare it down.

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? The meadow on my family’s farm. Or Central Market.

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Budget meetings. I couldn’t figure out why the editors would meet to talk about the budget twice every day. (In a newsroom, the budget is a plan or list of the stories and projects being worked on that day. Of course there’s also a finance budget, which is very important, too.)

Check out our past Q&As:
Graphic designer Sam Dellinger
Staff photographer Chris Dunn
Niche publications editor Kara Eberle
Online / community-news editor Joan Concilio
Assistant managing editor of features and niche publications and social media coordinator Buffy Andrews
Managing editor Randy Parker