Asbury graduate blogs from Beijing Olympics

In the sea of media coverage for the Beijing Olympic Games later this summer, it may be hard to find an angle that won’t be covered. From NBC’s coverage to print media, it will be covered like no event before it. But what about a local, behind-the-scenes angle? And what if you live in Central Kentucky?

The Jessamine Journal will host on its Web site, jessaminejournal.com, a blog with a different viewpoint of the Beijing Olympics.

“I think the best way to explain it is a young kid’s perspective on China, the Olympics and the journey to there and back,” T.J. Budd said.

Budd, and more than 50 others Asbury students and graduates, will journey to China this summer to assist in the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting’s coverage of the Games. Specifically, Budd will be a camera assistant. He’ll work alongside a cameraman at National Stadium.

“I will be helping running a camera, and if, for whatever reason, the camerman can’t be there or something happens to him, then I would be in charge of the camera,” he explained. “I’ll be helping tear it down, and I guess if I’m assigned to a camerman on the field, then I make sure he doesn’t get hit by anything and keep him out of the way.”

His assignment at National Stadium will give him a glimpse of the heart of the Olympics.

“I’m going to be working the opening and closing cermonies, track and field and I believe there’s going to be a couple soccer matches there, too,” Budd said. “So, pretty much anything going on at that stadium is where I’m going to be.”

And each day (or every other day) Budd will blog about his experience. From the viewpoint of a 22-year-old Asbury graduate with a degree in media communication, who grew up in Wilmore.

He plans to take a digital camera and take pictures to post with his blog. But don’t expect a straight news site with event coverage. Budd will be documenting the experience, not results.

“I’m going to write about the journey there and back,” he said. “(Traveling) over there, the long plane rides and the getting there and the experience of the Olympics and what it’s like to be there. I want to give a local’s perspective as far as things are done. I don’t expect to have any crack reporting or to bust any big stories while I’m over there, just the experience of what it’s like to not only be in China but to be there for the Olympics.”

And don’t be fooled by the idea of a free trip to China for fun and games at the Olympics. Budd will be working and won’t be on vacation.

“It looks like I will have most of my free time the first couple days I’m there that I can go sightseeing and maybe go to the Great Wall, maybe see Tiananmen Square and all those things. As far as going to watch events, our credentials only get us into the event that we are at. So, my credentials get me into National Stadium. I can’t go watch basketball or watch swimming anytime I want. If I want to go, I have to buy a ticket like everybody else.”

The blog will also be featured on the Web sites of the Advocate-Messenger in Danville, Winchester Sun and the Interior Journal in Stanford. It will be the first blog to run on the new in-house blog system, John Preston, regional digital media director for Schurz Communications, said.

“When (Budd) came to us and said he was interested in doing it, it started the ball rolling,” Preston said. “It planted a good seed. When you think of the Olympics, you think of all the Olympics and what an experience it is for them. What we often forget is what an experience it is for a lot of people who aren’t athletes, like the people who work it. I think this is a good way to share this experience with some who grew up in Central Kentucky, a good ol’ Jessamine County boy seeing the world, and I think it’s a good way for us to look at that other side of the Olympic coin.”

Following the blog should also give readers insight on a brand new experience, and for many of them, something they may never have the chance to do.

“I won’t go as far to say that it’s the next best thing to our readers being there,” Preston said. “But at least they can get a sense of what going on and what’s it like.”

“I don’t know very many people who get to not only go to China, that’s something remarkable in and of itself, but the fact that I get to go over there and and be a part of the Olympic Games is something that’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Budd said. “It’s a tremendous experience to go and be a part of the Olympic Games, which not a lot of people get to say, especially a 22-year-old college graduate. Most people who go have been working in the business for years and years and here’s a kid who, I don’t know, I guess I’m lucky, I get to go over there.”

By Casey Castle
sports@jessaminejournal.com

Copyright:The Jessamine-Journal 2008

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1 Comment

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One response to “Asbury graduate blogs from Beijing Olympics

  1. Toni Shank

    Hi TJ, glad you made it safely to the big “C”. . .very interesting article and blog. . .you’re a very good writer. Looking forward to the next installment. . ..Enjoy your adventure. Aunt Toni

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