Ryan Stuart: A look behind the keyboard

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My name is Ryan Stuart, an eager young sports reporter raised in the rains of Western Washington. I spent the last 18 years of my life in Gig Harbor, which is roughly an hour south of Seattle.

A public sighting of me is not rare, as I hate to be cooped up at home. When I’m not working, you can find me at the gym, shamelessly shoving my face full of teriyaki, or firmly rooted anywhere gracious enough to show televised sports. 

My journey as a journalist began at Washington State University in Pullman, a small town buried in the wheat fields just eight miles west of the Idaho border. However, my path to The Signal wasn’t always clear to me. It wasn’t until my junior year that I discovered my true calling.

As a bright-eyed freshman, I thought the world of graphic design was my destiny. I had always enjoyed playing with Photoshop, but quickly learned it was more of a hobby, not a passion. Feeling lost, I decided to give journalism a shot. 

I got a chance to start writing at the beginning of my junior year and fell in love with my work immediately. For once, school didn’t feel like work to me anymore, and at the end of the semester my professor came to me with an opportunity that would change the course of my career. 

With a recommendation from my professor, I got my first internship at the Washington State University Athletic Communications Department. There I discovered my dream, and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less.

I was always an avid sports fan growing up. In fact, some of my fondest memories are of watching college football with my dad after my own peewee football games every Saturday. However, it wasn’t until I started writing about sports that I realized being a sports reporter was an actual possibility for me. 

WSU Athletic Communications gave me experience writing previews and recaps, which came easily to me. I love anything sports and talking about them is second nature to me. In the fall of my senior year, I got my opportunity to shine. As one of the senior interns, I was chosen to write profiles on the cover athletes for the football programs. 

This became the best part of the job for me. My work became about more than placing my readers on the scene of a big play. It became about finding ways to place my audience into the lives of the student-athletes. Profile writing presented a new challenge to me and made me eager to take the next step in my career.

Now, I’m getting my first real start in a newsroom and couldn’t be more excited. I’m just a transplant from the Pacific Northwest living out his dream. So, if you see me, feel free to say “Hi” or talk to me about anything sports. Take this as a warning though, I will talk your ear off. I am my father’s son, after all.

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