For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet David Gottlieb, an associate reporter covering the Mariners for MLB.com.
- How did you find yourself as the associate reporter for the Mariners at MLB.com?
I’ve had my eye on the MLB.com associate reporter position ever since the end of my freshman year in college. I applied, was selected as a finalist, but ultimately didn’t make the final cut two separate times throughout college. As the cliché goes, “third time’s the charm.” After spending my senior year at UCLA as sports editor of the Daily Bruin and covering football and men’s basketball, I applied again and got the job this time. I had the Mariners listed as my second choice of the 30 teams and was lucky enough to land in a beautiful city covering a winning team!
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the story I was able to put together about a pattern of body shaming on the UCLA cheerleading team. I think I was able to make the point that if people — not just cheerleaders — are at risk for mental health or wellness issues, there’s an inherent responsibility on the institutions imposing those risks to make sure they’re providing the proper support.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
This one’s easy: getting to call the Safeco Field clubhouse and press box my office.
4. What is your interview style?
It depends. A lot of times, I’m in scrums with reporters who have been covering the Mariners for much longer than I have, so I’ll hang back and let them ask their questions. I might throw in something of my own towards the end if it hasn’t been asked already.
When I’m in more personal, one-on-one settings, it’s all about making sure the source feels comfortable and knows that I really care about what they have to share. I always try to remember that listening to their answers is a lot more important than figuring out my next question.
5. What do you look for in a story?
With my baseball stories, it’s always really important to give the reader something they couldn’t have found in the box score. Every last piece of actual game information is very readily available these days, so I look for details that would enrich a fan’s experience even if they already knew the result of every single pitch.
6. What is your day like at your job?
For a 7:10 p.m. game, I get to the press box around 3 p.m. From there, I join all the other reporters for manager Scott Servais’ daily media availability in his office, right next to the clubhouse. If I need more sourcing after that, I may talk to a player or two. Then it’s back up to the press box where we write until the game starts. After first pitch, I’m watching diligently, waiting for action worthy of an in-game story, making a spreadsheet of pitch-by-pitch results or trying to engage my followers on Twitter. When the game ends, it’s back down to the clubhouse to talk with Servais and players. Then, back up to the press box to add the quotes into our stories. I usually leave the park around midnight, give or take an hour depending on game time.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
He’s not working any more, but it has got to be Vin Scully.
I grew up listening to the greatest broadcaster of all time, and the biggest thing that I learned from him is that the game itself is always more important than the person sharing the information. He was awe-inspiringly humble, and that’s what made him the best.
I try to use that same theory in my writing. My goal is never to show the reader how good of a writer I am. The goal is always to efficiently share the information I think the reader wants.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
I’m not sure if this counts, but I’ll say fangraphs.com. It’s a very nerdy baseball site with a lot of writers pretty determined to use data to explain various phenomena going on in baseball.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am… Watching MLB network or lifting weights.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… John Wooden.
- My favorite thing about Seattle is… The weather. But I’ll admit: I’ve only been here since June.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Joining mosh pits at EDM shows and festivals.
Check out our last Meet the Media where we spotlighted Emma Decker, a journalist at Blue Chalk Media.
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