Mark Simon — a journalist whose highlights include time with ESPN, writing books, digging for stats, and creating podcasts — encourages students to ‘differentiate’


Headliners of Summer

Mark Simon on Zoom with the Headliners of Summer newsroom.

Seon Pollard, Hunter College

During a recent Zoom meeting with the Headliners of Summer newsroom, guest speaker Mark Simon encouraged students to pursue their interests and own lane when choosing careers.

Whether they like print instead of broadcast or political journalism as opposed to entertainment, students should carve out a path that works for them.

“Think of ways that you can differentiate,” said Simon, content creator of the sports data company Sports Info Solutions.

Every week, Headliners of Summer hosts Zoom meetings with individuals who discuss their career paths and share professional development tips with students ranging in age from elementary to school through college graduates. Previous guests this summer have included YouTube content creator Brendon Henderson and Buoy Creative co-founder Ri Gulotta, who specializes in marketing. At the Aug. 3 meeting, Simon discussed mapping out his career how he wanted.

Simon said he knew he wanted to write and do broadcasting from an early age. So, after graduating college, he endeavored to do both. In his career, he wrote articles, assisted with ESPN broadcasts, and wrote “The Yankees Index” (a book about the high points in New York Yankees history), among other things. At Sports Info Solutions, he conducts sports research, writes articles, and hosts a podcast.

“From a young age, I knew that I like to write and talk,” he said. “So, I’ve always tried to create opportunities for myself to be able to do both.”

Aside from sharing how he found his way in journalism and media, Simon also told the Headliners newsroom that he regularly learns about others who are doing the same. As the host of his podcast “The Journalism Salute,” he interviews reporters from across the nation about their work so that he can bolster appreciation for journalism and bring awareness to different career paths. Simon said he appreciates hearing how people are individualizing the field to pursue niches and mediums they enjoy.

The biggest thing I learned is that there are just so many different types of outlets out there,

— MARK SIMON about what he has learned from hosting his journalism podcast

“The biggest thing I learned is that there are just so many different types of outlets out there,” Simon said, referring to Spaceship Media, Nineteen Fifty-Six, and other publications he has learned about on the show. “I never would have thought that certain things existed.”

In response to the increasing polarization surrounding the 2016 election, Spaceship Media began using “dialogue journalism,” which the group describes as a process that facilitates fact-based conversation between polarized sides of a topic. The team uses it to build community and foster effective conversations among groups who disagree.

University of Alabama student Tionna Taite founded the niche magazine Nineteen Fifty-Six because she did not see a publication on campus that focused on the Black experience.

(For more on Mark Simon and his wide-ranging work in media, go HERE.)

–Aug. 18, 2022–