When broadcast and journalism post-graduate student, Sam Carran, returned to St Peter’s College to do a story recently, he found he was the subject of a story himself.
Sam, who was Head Boy at SPC in 2009, went on to do a degree in media and communications at the University of Canterbury. Now his one year post-graduate studies in broadcasting and journalism involve him in printed media, radio and TV. It’s not all theory though, there’s been practical working experience with the Ashburton Guardian, the Marlborough Express and RDU Radio and soon he hopes to do some work behind the scenes on TV show, “The Crowd Goes Wild”.
Sam reflected on what led him to choose a career in sports journalism. He described himself as a Gore lad, who was happy at school and whose goal was always to be Head Boy and a role model for younger children.
He loved sports and had a black belt in karate by the time he left school. He represented Southland in athletics, tennis and basketball and was an enthusiastic school rugby player too.
On the academic side he wasn’t strong on the sciences, so concentrated on English based subjects, as well as his PE. It was this interest in English and sport that formed the basis of his future career choice. As a good all-rounder he took part in Eisteddfods and his singing led to parts in Gore Operatic Shows as well as St Peter’s productions including “Grease” and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".
Strong essay writing skills from English studies at school, meant that Sam was well equipped for the first year of his university course, where assignments were all essay based. During his second year he did a work placement at the Ensign in Gore and found plenty of excitement to report on, when a truck crashed through a building during his time there.
Sam feels that job prospects in journalism are good if you are prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. As a junior in sports journalism, you have to be looking for new angles, as the big matches are already covered by seasoned reporters. Good contacts are vital and Sam coaches a rugby team with the All Blacks’ ex media manager, which led him to be present at one of their closed practices for an international game. A good opportunity for networking.
An exchange trip to France while still at school gave Sam a taste of life abroad and he has since been to Australia and America. He’d be happy if covering sport abroad allowed him to travel more.
Where would he like to be in ten years’ time? In TV - covering sports and current affairs. Apparently a southern accent doesn’t count against you if you are lucky enough to be in front of the cameras.