Victor Flores

Victor Flores, Emerald Newsroom 2013-14

 

What did you major/minor in at the University of Oregon? How would you describe your time at UO and when did you graduate?

I majored in journalism, and I had a great time at UO. I learned a ton, made great friends, loved Eugene and owe my career to the school (mainly The Emerald).

 

Describe your career path, so far. Where are you working now and what is your title?

I'm currently a sports reporter in Montana at the Billings Gazette. I started my career as a sports reporter at the (Idaho Falls) Post Register in 2014, months after I graduated from UO. After 2 1/2 years there, I remained in Idaho and worked for the (Twin Falls) Times-News, where I continued to write about sports. I spent my final year there as the sports editor, and I moved to Billings two years ago.

 

How do you think your time at the Daily Emerald prepared you for the job you have now? Interview skills, writing skills, developing sources, finding unique story angles, filing records requests, working on deadline and so much more. There are few, if any, journalistic skills I have now that I didn't learn during my time at the Emerald.

 

Describe your fondest memory relating to your time at the Daily Emerald. 

I hesitate to call this a fond memory because it involves one of the most awful stories I've ever worked on: a sexual assault case involving the Oregon men's basketball team. And the "fondest" memory from that reporting experience probably doesn't sound all that appealing to most people: I pulled an all-nighter with another reporter, Troy Brynelson, combing through a police report. The opportunity to inform readers about important happenings in their community is one of the main reasons I've been so drawn to journalism. As terrible as the subject matter of this case was, I embraced the chance to unearth facts and tell a story that mattered to so many people. I haven't made any 2 a.m. coffee runs to 7/11 since that night in 2014, and I'm glad I haven't, but I don't regret doing that or taking a short nap on one of the Emerald's couches. Troy, I and many other Emerald reporters did great work on that assault story, and it required nights like the one I mentioned. There's nothing more gratifying than seeing your hard work result in good stories. 

 

Tell us about a time you managed a project at the Emerald. What was the process and the outcome?  

Nothing's coming to mind, but I can update this if I remember one.

 

How do you stay in touch with the team you worked with at the Emerald? Is there anyone you’d like to reconnect with?

I stay in touch with a bunch of people through text, social media, email, etc. There's nobody in particular I'd like to reconnect with, but I do wish I lived closer to my Emerald friends and was able to see them more often.

 

If you had the opportunity to speak to current student journalists at the Emerald what would you say to them?

If you pursue a career in journalism, be prepared for the job to be difficult. The Emerald is a magical place that makes it easy to fall in love with journalism. It's also not the real world. This industry is filled with bad corporate owners, checked out editors and jaded co-workers. So many people I've loved working with have gotten laid off. Most of us don't have the luxury of working at big city news organizations right away, so we're forced to move to towns that aren't nearly as enjoyable as Eugene and aren't as story-rich as UO. I still love this job and can't imagine doing anything else, but not every journalist feels that way, and even I've occasionally questioned my career choices. I certainly don't want to discourage any college students from doing journalism professionally. I just want you to be prepared for some challenges.