Telum Talks To: Marc Gabriel Manalo, Social Editor at ClutchPoints
Interview

Telum Talks To: Marc Gabriel Manalo, Social Editor at ClutchPoints

By Carlo Jacob Molina

Telum Media sat down with Marc Gabriel Manalo, Social Editor at ClutchPoints, to talk about his experience working for a huge sports media outlet, as well as his interest in sports journalism. He also gave budding journalists some pointers to thrive in the field.

Tell us a bit about ClutchPoints. Why and how did you start the publication?
ClutchPoints is a prominent sports media platform renowned for its provision of real-time updates, insightful analysis, and comprehensive highlights spanning multiple leagues, including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League. We offer concise content and have a strong social media presence, making them popular amongst sports enthusiasts. I have always imagined myself working for a sports media company and ClutchPoints has been one of the companies I have been following ever since I was in college. The idea of having the chance to contribute to a publication's coverage by writing content strategies, analysing game performances, and creating engaging multimedia content for athletes and coaches that I have been watching for years was always a dream of mine.

What fuelled your interest in sports journalism?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always been in love with sports. I have played numerous sports and have also competed in different sports titles. Growing up, I have always known that my love for sports would always be embedded in me. Even though there were times when I haven't been able to participate in any sports activities, sports journalism has been the bridge for me to stay connected with sports. Ernie Johnson, who is a revered sports journalist and NBA host, has been one of my biggest idols and inspirations to pursue this career. Their award-winning show, NBA on TNT, has been a show I have been watching for years, and it has brought me to understand the emotional connections we have as human beings in sports.

You share you are an athlete and a sports fan. How does this help you with your role as Social Editor at the sports media outlet?
Being able to relate with the athletes and understand how difficult it is to maintain a certain level of competence night in and night out has been crucial in producing content that would not just inspire their fans but also other professional athletes from all sports.

Can you walk us through a typical day of work at ClutchPoints?
I usually start my day by scouring news from our beat reporters and filtering headlines that would intrigue sports fans alike. After writing the headlines and plausible captions for a post, I will then proceed to conceptualise the designs and create a content strategy for our graphics designers to follow and execute. I would also watch sports games live in order to be ready for breaking news and time-sensitive content to be produced. I end my day by checking all the contents I have posted for the day and making sure that there were no mistakes made during the process.

Are there any sports trends or topics that are getting your attention at present?
Sports personalities who overcome adversity, whether it is a setback due to injuries or mental health issues, sharing stories of resilience and perseverance from athletes who have overcome obstacles, setbacks, or injuries to achieve success in their sport. These stories inspire others to believe in their abilities, stay determined in the face of challenges, and never give up on their dreams. Stories like these also show fans that even the most revered athletes on the planet can make mistakes and that they are human.

Do you work with PRs at all? Any top tips for them if they want to engage with you and ClutchPoints?
I have been tasked with creating content for NBA teams' fan bases which is vital for not just the growth of the team but for the entire community of sports fans. ClutchPoints' motto, "For fans, by fans," has always been ingrained in me, ever since I have been a part of their team. That is why also being a fan of the team or sport that you are covering can easily help you engage with the audience.

What is the best advice you picked up from your mentors and what pointers would you give to aspiring journalists?
Research. Researching is key in journalism. It's not just about finding information; it's about understanding it, verifying it, and putting it into context. Learning to adapt to change is also vital for sports journalists. Every day, the context of the news or content that sports journalists are spreading to the public is susceptible to change. The importance of always being willing to learn has also been one of the assets aspiring journalists need to understand to flourish in the industry.

Telum Media gives journalists a platform to share their experiences in the newsroom and out in the field. If you would like to share your story or nominate someone to be featured, email us at philippinesmedia@telummedia.com

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