Mike Wise: 3 thing

Well, they call him the Wise Guy, and if you don’t know why now, you never well.

As Eric Vitoff put it, Mike Wise‘s presentation (performance?) with us in class Tuesday was “stellar.” There were plenty of little lessons, and both Mike and I look forward to your comments here.

Since we have another speaker Thursday (Nate Ewell of the Washington Capitals), your deadline for this assignment is 30 minutes before class Thursday (March 26). Please remember your questions for Nate.

The picture is of Mike, his dog, and a young GWU law student who lent them an important helping hand a year ago. Just one of a number of stories Mike didn’t have time to share with us.

13 Responses to “Mike Wise: 3 thing”

  1.   Mike Foss Says:

    3 things from Mike Wise:

    1. A backup plan is just a plan for failure. Don’t have one.

    2. Find the less than obvious angle for a story. Kennedy was assassinated. Interview the guy digging his grave.

    3. When Charles Oakley slapped Charles Barkley, Barkly stayed slapped!

  2.   Christopher Brooks Says:

    3 things I learned from Mike Wise:

    1. Backup plans means you are setting yourself up for failure.

    2. Read stories by writers who will make you better and surround yourself by people who will make you better as well.

    3. Magic Johnson told him not to hang out with punks and to not get high. Now I don’t want to hang out with punks or get high because I love Magic!

    4. Laura, the girl he kissed in high school “crushed” him. Does that mean she broke his heart or she sat on him? I don’t know.

    Great to have you in class. I enjoyed the stories and hopefully I will have those kind of stories after working in the field.

  3.   Ben Libby Says:

    3 things I learned from Mike Wise:

    1. Going there to do it is probably the easiest part, but thinking of the way to get there is what makes a story appealing. Ex: grave-digger @ Arlington Cemetary for JFK.

    2. Diversify and keep up with all the mediums. Whether it’s radio, TV, or writing.

    3. “If the first four or five paragraphs don’t work, no ones going to take the journey.”

    4. “Jack and Jill went up the hill….yeah but Jack came down with money.”

  4.   Sara Ronken Says:

    Three things from Mike Wise:

    1. If you want to get ahead in the journalism business, find the less than obvious angle in a story–the one that no one else is doing.

    2. Surround yourself by people who make you think differently. This will make you a better writer.

    3. Try to take the athlete you are interviewing out of his environment. When he is not around his peers, he tends to open up more and you come out with a much better story.

  5.   Colin Fitzgerald Says:

    3 Things I learned from Mike Wise:

    1.Find the less than obvious angle

    2. Having a back up plan is setting yourself up to fail.

    3. Surround yourself with the right people. Don’t hang around those who you know will get you in trouble.

    4. “Lindsay Lohan is a nutjob”

    Some unforgettalbe quotes!
    “Its like a snake in the road, trying to get a nut.”
    “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!”
    “You down with the King?”

  6.   bmurphy6 Says:

    Brendan Murphy
    Communication 371-001
    Sports Reporting/Klein
    3 Things I learned from Mike Wise:

    1.Read people that you think are going to make you a better writer.

    2.Take them out of their environment. They don’t want to tell stories with teammates standing next to them.

    3.We don’t give young people the handicap to screw up that we get.

  7.   Diana Friedman Says:

    Diana Friedman

    First of all – I have actually read everyone else’s comments and laughed the whole time. What a good day in class that was. ***TURTLEMAN CRY***

    1. Find the less obvious angle in order to more effectively break into the business.

    2. Be a “jack of all trades,” be able to do anything within the business.

    3. Try not to be friends with the athletes you’re going to find in a crackhouse at 3 a.m.


    “Like a snake in the road trying to get a nut”

    “If it ain’t broke don’t break it”

    “He stayed slapped”

    “You down with the king?”

    Soooo great.

  8.   joe Says:

    3 things for Mike Wise

    1)Be willing to travel to get a real sense of a players background.

    2)Charles Oakley can slap Barkley and actually get away with it!…haha

    3) Don’t get close to athletes who are trouble because your probably will have to write something negative about them. Got to be objective.

  9.   Andrew Says:

    3 Things from Mike Wise:

    1) What stood out to me was what he said about Eddy Murphy’s “All ya’ll with a backup plan are preparing yourself to fail.” It is an excellent approach to take on life.

    2) Mike got 300 rejection letters before he got the job he wanted. Keep trying.

    3) Mike suggested to take a player out of their environment if you want to get some good answers out of them. They don’t want to tell their stories with teammates and others crowded around them.

  10.   Evan Says:

    1. Celebrity sports figures have more power and influence than most politicians (except maybe Barack).
    If Joe Biden or Michelle Obama told you to never to use drugs, would you listen?
    What about LeBrown James or Sidney Crosby?

    2. A “tip” from Eddie Murphy.
    “Ya’ll with a backup plan is settin’ yourselves up for failure”.

    3. Be tenacious. If Mr. Wise hadn’t kept pressing Magic in Hawaii he wouldn’t have half the stories he has now.

    4. Turtleman vs. Charles Oakley —

  11.   Eric Vitoff Says:

    3 Mike Wise things:

    1. Oakley-isms!!! Didn’t know they existed.

    2. I never knew the story about the journalist interviewing Kennedy’s gravedigger. That was a great example of finding a less obvious angle on things.

    3. Backup plans are a recipe for failure.

  12.   Grant Paulsen Says:

    1. Having a backup plan is preparing yourself to fail. Do what you want to do!

    2. Surround yourself with people who are going to make you a better writer. Don’t surround yourself with people who like playing video games until your fingers bleed.

    3. Become a jack-of-all-trades person, but the lifeblood of journalism is still good writing.

    4: Laura Onner was Mike’s first kiss.

  13.   Fox Parker Says:

    3 things from Mike Wise:

    1) I have the BEST sports writer in Mike Wise

    2)To become a better writer, read the people you like and think are good writers

    3)Do something that makes you different and special, it makes you more valuable. Brand yourself (not literally) so that you are identifiable and unique.

    4)The life blood of journalism is good writing and the ability to tell a compelling story.

    5) Gilbert is the MAN and he’s back baby!

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