10 Questions With Mike Vaccaro

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8. Advice for Young Sports Writers?

RCS: In 1991, while just 24 years old, you became sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, making you the youngest sports editor at a daily newspaper in the country. What advice would you give to an aspiring young sports writer?

Vaccaro: I know this is going to sound awfully easy for me to say, because I have a job now that a thousand people would kill for. But what I would tell a 24-year-old now is simple: do everything. Learn everything. Write stories, and features and columns. Do investigative pieces. Write headlines, attend news meetings, learn how to expertly shoot video.

The key is still what it has always been: make yourself invaluable. Make it impossible for someone not to hire you because of how vast your expertise is. That is especially important now, of course, as jobs become scarcer but it really has always been that way. Some can get by just on the elegance of their talent; most (like me) got where we are because we worked hard, worked smart and somehow developed skills others deemed essential.

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