Laura AlbaneseSports firstname.lastname@example.org
I didn’t think I could be a sports reporter. Intellectually, I knew it was possible: I loved sports journalism, and as a kid, I’d go to the corner bodega in my Brooklyn neighborhood every time I had a few cents to buy a newspaper and a bag of Dipsy Doodles. I had a scrapbook of all my favorite articles. But the obstacles felt too big. My parents were working-class immigrants who spoke little English and had no interest in sports, so I was gleaning what I could from articles, AM radio, and whatever was on broadcast TV. There was no way I was going to be able to afford college. And, oh yeah, I was a woman, and even in the early 2000s, there weren’t too many print sports reporters who looked like me. So, when I say that I love this job, and I love what I do, it’s not just because I get to go to games. It’s also because of all the people who took a chance on me then – a skittish, outwardly docile 20-year-old who, frankly, didn’t look like she could survive a day in a professional locker room. It took college advisors, kindly professors, copy editors, hiring editors, secretaries, clerks and coworkers to get me here, and I’ll never not be grateful for that. I love that those values extend to Newsday's sports coverage as well. I feel our staff is just so adept at telling stories with nuance, narrative and depth, and having grown up reading every New York tabloid I could get my hands on, I know how different it is from everything else out there. But everyone always asks, “Why sports?” Well, sports is news, too. I started at Newsday as a news intern and freelanced as a news reporter (I could “never” be a sports reporter, remember?). I value hard-news reporting and feel it’s necessary to incorporate that into sports, because in this role, we’re journalists, not fans. I'm consistently impressed with Newsday's high ethical standards in that regard.
But it's more than that. Sports is a place you can tell a special type of story – a neat reminder of what it’s like to lose big or win bigger. It’s our everyday life, sped up and drawn out in loud technicolor. We’ve all failed, and we all have our own underdog stories; we all know what it’s like to want something badly and have it just beyond our reach. Sports is a reflection of all of that, and I think it’s an honor to be able to write something that can resonate with people of all types – from the multimillion dollar athlete, to the little kid scrolling through her mom’s phone. I mean, it helped me, all those years ago.
It’s an honor to be able to write something that can resonate with people of all types.
I grew up reading Lisa Olson's sports columns. She had her photo in the paper, and just that image – a woman’s wryly smirking face sitting above these beautifully written articles – eventually convinced me this gig wasn’t as out of reach as I thought. (OK, fine. It took me a decade or so to get there.) So, after interning and freelancing and working retail and slinging lattes, I did end up reaching for the thing I actually wanted to do. I hope the stories we tell at Newsday can help me pay that forward to someone else.
Education: Brooklyn College
Honors and Awards: Finalist, New York Sports Writer of the Year, National Sports Media Association, 2022; Distinguished Sports Writing Award of Excellence, The New York News Publishers Association, 2020; Finalist, Deadline Club, digital innovation, 2016.