Tackling her new role: New sports reporter comes on board
She dove into the Pierce County sports scene with both feet and from her writing, you can tell she loves what she does.
Pierce County Herald/RiverTown Multimedia sports and education reporter Katie Davidson began her new role with the company in September, after reporter Jalen Knuteson took a job closer to his hometown in southern Wisconsin. You may have seen her on the sidelines of Pierce County games, and she's already putting her stamp on telling the stories of local athletes.
Davidson grew up in Crookston, Minnesota, a town of about 8,000 people. She feels at home in Pierce County.
"It's a bit bigger than any of the Pierce County towns, but Crookston still has a small-town vibe to it, similar to the communities the PCH covers," Davidson said.
As a Minnesota native, you can guess which professional football team she roots for. This caused some interesting moments in her household growing up.
"My dad, Dave, is a retired English teacher," Davidson said. "I think he inspired my love for writing. He's a Packers fan, which led to some unpleasant arguments in my household."
As Davidson was settling into her new role, one of her first tasks was interviewing the Ellsworth football team's special teams players for the Blitz publication.
"My last question was, 'How badly are the Vikings going to beat the Packers when they play them on Oct. 15?'" Davidson said. "Their reactions were great, but not as great as the final score of the game."
Her mother, Kim, is a third grade teacher. Her brother, Dan, a junior at the University of Minnesota, is credited with inspiring her sports interest.
"He got me hooked on sports when he refused to let me watch anything besides 'SportsCenter' before school every morning when we were younger," Davidson said.
Davidson graduated from Augsburg College (now Augsburg University) with a major in communication studies and a minor in English writing. While at Augsburg, she was the school's student-run newspaper copy editor. She also covered Augsburg basketball, wrestling, track and field, volleyball and more.
"I'd love to cover the Timberwolves, Lynx and/or Gophers basketball for the Star Tribune and have my own sports column," Davidson said about future career goals. "Basketball has half of my heart, but the other half belongs to promoting racial justice and equity. So, I'd also enjoy being more of an enterprise writer regarding that topic."
Prior to coming to the Herald, Davidson worked at the League of Minnesota Cities in St. Paul in the communications and public affairs department. She also worked part-time with Minnesota United FC (Minnesota's professional soccer team) in the public relations department.
She knew from a young age that writing was in her blood.
"The summer after my sophomore year of high school I began working with the Crookston Daily Times as their summer intern," Davidson said. "That's when I fell in love with reporting. With the Times, I got to write articles, take photos, conduct interviews and even wrote my own weekly column. Not only did I get to expand my reporting skills while doing all of these things, but I also got to know my hometown and its residents on a more personal level.
"I've always been fascinated with staying up to date and in the know with current events, and being a reporter allows me to get paid to do that."
Davidson also likes to see the large crowds at area sporting events. She said the passion of the fans, athletes and coaches is obvious.
"Despite how small the Pierce County communities are, I have yet to attend a single Pierce County sporting event that's had a small amount of fans in attendance," Davidson said. "It's apparent that people in these communities are passionate about their sports teams, which makes my job more enjoyable.
"I've also gotten to interview a lot of talented athletes in the area, and I'm excited to get to follow and cover their upcoming careers."
Outside of the journalism world, Davidson follows Minnesota sports and tries to attend as many Timberwolves games as she can. She ran track and cross country in college, and completed her first marathon this month. Books also grab her attention, though it's hard to pick just one.
"I have a bad habit of trying to read five books at a time," Davidson admitted.
You may be surprised to learn that Davidson is "a terrible golfer" who has never finished a full round. As for other fun facts, "The Office" junkie has seen the series "front to back at least 15 times." And considering her dedication to sports, it's not too surprising the family dog was named Kirby after Twins legend Kirby Puckett.
However, sports are not the only thing on this young lady's radar. She is passionate about telling the stories of people whose voices go unheard in the world.
"Journalism also sheds light on what's going on in the world outside of what we experience in our daily lives, which helps readers gain new perspectives on the greater world around them," Davidson said, who is volunteering with the chief officer of Minnesota's inclusion office. She is helping his staff create a blog to spread awareness about racial disparities that often go unnoticed in Minnesota's workforce.
The Herald staff is looking forward to seeing the stories Davidson will uncover and the people the communities will get to know through her detailed storytelling.
"I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with at the PCH," Davidson said. "Everyone from RiverTown Multimedia has been unbelievably welcoming and helpful during my first few weeks on the job, and the PCH staff always keep things fun in the office."
To reach Davidson, call her at 715-273-4334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.