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Staff Q&As: Meet assistant sports editor Brittany Wilson

Brittany WilsonTo 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 Brittany Wilson. You might have seen her out in the community sipping coffee or nibbling on candy as she connects with readers in her former role in the hyperlocal department. She also blogs for No Sweat, York.

Name: Brittany Wilson
Lives in: Mechanicsburg
Hometown: Hamilton Square, N.J.
Position at the YDR: Assistant sports editor
Years with the YDR: 2.5+ (I arrived in Sept. 2009)
Graduated from: Penn State
With a degree in: Journalism and English
Twitter: @brittanylion
Email: bwilson@ydr.com
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I chose Penn State because it was the farthest college away from my New Jersey home that I got in to — and my parents could afford. I didn’t think I’d stay in Pennsylvania for more than a semester, but I fell head-over-heels for Penn State and I couldn’t imagine spending my four college years anywhere else. I also didn’t expect to remain in Pennsylvania after college. But I like it here, now. I think I’ll stay.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? My high school English teacher told me I was a good writer. I decided to pursue a degree in journalism, joined the Daily Collegian and fell in love. I think the Cary Grant movie “His Girl Friday” might have had something to do with it, too.

2. How do you see journalism changing? As recently as when I went began college (2005), journalism was primarily print-driven. My freshman year, my classes focused almost entirely on putting out a tangible product. My junior year, I don’t think any of my courses had very much to do with print any more. We had moved on to sound slides, website production, design and video. And my senior year — when Twitter was still in its infancy — we were encouraged to use it as a news-gathering tool. We came a pretty long way in a short time. Journalism isn’t a one-trick pony. It has evolved to suit the needs and wants of a plugged-in generation of consumers while still staying true to its roots.

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? Recently, I started getting out into the community and talking to readers on a weekly basis. I have met some pretty cool York countians in my travels — one 84-year-old travels constantly and climbed Mt. Vesuvius when he was 80! — and I really like hearing what you have to say about where you grew up, where you live now and what you like to do. I dislike Harris, our page design program. He and I don’t get along.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Probably sleeping in. My schedule at the YDR has changed several times since I started working here. I went from a 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift to a 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift to a 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and my sleep cycle hasn’t really balanced itself out yet. If I’m awake, I’m probably reading, at the gym or driving someplace fun.

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? A column Mike Argento wrote last year after his dog passed away really stuck with me.  I know what it is like to be attached to a pet — even a not-so-smart-one — and what it’s like to lose a four-legged friend. It sucks. Argento might have made me cry.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Water and cold tea that I didn’t finish this morning.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: @romenesko and @charlesapple

8. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? The last book you read? Moneyball, I think. And I gave in to peer pressure and read “The Hunger Games” a few weeks ago. It was much better than I anticipated. I shouldn’t have put up as much of a fight.

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? Inside: Central Market; Outside: Samuel S. Lewis State Park

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Furniture. This is items on a page that always are on the same page and in the same place. For example, the lotteries, weather graphic and corrections always are on page 2. I stared blankly at my editor the first time I heard that term.

Last week, we ran a Q&A with entertainment editor Pat Abdalla. To read all of the staff Q&A interviews we’ve done so far, click on the “Staff Q&As” under “About us” at the top of the homepage.