Meet David Woods, sports reporter

David Woods’ prolific career in Indianapolis began in 1994, when he joined the sports desk of the Indianapolis News. He moved to The Star when the newsrooms merged.

Woods, a member of the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, has covered the Olympics, Butler basketball and countless other stories over the years.

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1) Why are you in the union?

Without the union, the newsroom would be powerless to restrain Gannett, which is a giant corporation and lacks the commitment to the community and its employees that Indianapolis Newspapers once had. It is not just Gannett. I have worked at six newspapers (two joint operations) in three states, and the news industry has a deserved reputation for treating employees poorly. A former H.R. director of a large hospital told me he could never retain employees if he did what newspapers do — and that was before the industry went into decline.

2) What could newsroom management do to be more friendly to journalists?

It sounds like a cliche, but communication goes a long way. Editors and reporters should be teammates, not adversaries. And teammates sometimes disagree.

3) What should they stop doing?

Year-end reviews.

4) Name one journalist who inspires you to do your job every day.

Edward R. Murrow of CBS, Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated and former IndyStar sportswriter Phil Richards.

5) What is one piece of career advice you’d give to a young journalist just starting out?

I would tell a young journalist that our role is more important than ever, that versatility is desirable (be prepared to write, talk and be on camera), and to have a backup plan. Career paths now are so uncertain. The number of jobs continues to decrease. On the other hand, skills learned in journalism are applicable to other careers, most of them paying more.

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