Basketball, Baguettes & Bliss
By Chloe Lamb, Public Relations Senior
Traveling to Paris, France, to cover the NBA game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll cherish forever. I felt many emotions when finding out I was accepted to travel abroad with my peers. First, I was insanely excited to have the opportunity. Then, I was apprehensive that my work there would not be as good as the other students’. Finally, I was anxious but eager to start the journey.
I learned a lot not only about journalism and reporting but also as an individual.
As a PR major, I have not taken many reporting classes. This program taught me much about the work. More than anything, I realized that, in reporting, you must be uncomfortable to eventually get comfortable. I had to fully immerse myself in the feeling of unfamiliarity to produce work full of detail and imagery.
I wish I had a quicker turnaround with publishing and that I had gathered more information than I did… But I am still extremely proud of my partner Morgan Waters and my work.
Morgan and I worked together to create a multimedia story on the NBA’s international influence. Before our arrival, we had outlined what we planned to photograph and write about in Paris. However, our original ideas shifted once we landed in France.
Instead of creating a piece focused only on the NBA’s international presence, we captured and communicated the life, culture and athletics in Paris, France, from an American lens.
Our final project, titled I See Red, includes the union leaders and protesters’ “Black Thursday” strike against the government’s pension changes, the history and widespread influence of French culture and the basketball league’s opportunity to strengthen its global footprint.
My own traditions, habits and behaviors were different from the average Parisian’s.
My favorite clothing is loungewear and hoodies; I prioritize comfort when choosing an outfit. I also am used to speaking informally, and I quickly learned that’s rare in France.
I don’t think I ever saw someone wearing sweatpants on the streets of Paris, and every time I entered a store or establishment, I was immediately greeted with a polite “Bonjour!”
My personal culture shaped my view on how to approach international sports reporting because I needed to alter the way I greeted and spoke to individuals.
This goes hand in hand with a challenge I experienced when my partner and I were developing our piece: the language barrier. Communicating to locals why we were in France and wanted to do a quick interview was often tricky, but we still found people who knew a decent amount of English and were happy to converse.
My global perspective has changed immensely after this study abroad experience.
Traveling to Paris to cover the NBA’s international game opened my eyes to the league’s significant international presence and American sports’ influence in another country.
Writing and developing a multimedia piece in France broadened my understanding of the incredible passion so many people have for sporting events and athletes.
I will be forever grateful to have had the chance to travel abroad with such a talented group of students with whom I could learn and grow friendships.
Finally, the program directors made the experience both enjoyable and educational. Dr. C and Ted Spiker were such dynamic leaders who created a filled itinerary that allowed my peers and me to see the city of Paris, connect with UF alums and experience covering a sold-out, highly publicized sporting event.