Meet Michael Beaven from the Beacon Journal

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Local journalism requires local journalists. Each week for the next few months, we will be highlighting the Beacon staff members who serve our community. Here’s how you can support the work we do.

Meet Michael Beaven

Position: Sports editor for the Akron Beacon Journal. I mainly cover sports in high school and write articles that appear on BeaconJournal.com and in the daily print version of the Beacon Journal. I write feature articles, game stories, notebooks, roundups, the weekly High School Spotlight, and help select All-Star teams. I also help cover the Cleveland Professional Sports Teams, Akron University, Akron RubberDucks, and the annual Pro Golf Tournament at Firestone Country Club.

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Why I became a journalist

I grew up in a family that loves sports and loves good stories. My mom and dad kept us, my siblings and I, with family events, school, and activities. I loved playing baseball and basketball as a kid, and I played baseball at Firestone High School. Journalism struck me as a good choice when I wrote for the school newspaper at Firestone and Akron University before graduating in 2001 and 2006, respectively. I had fun covering games, interviewing coaches and athletes, and writing an informative story. I gained valuable experience in these early articles before I got the opportunity to work at the Akron Beacon Journal in 2003.

What I like most about my job

I like interacting with people: my colleagues, coaches, athletes, sports directors, etc. The folks at Akron Beacon Journal are some of the best people I’ve met. Meeting and interviewing high school, college and professional athlete is fun. I have been fortunate to see teams in our coverage area win everything from a league championship to a state championship. I attended several Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games in Cleveland, including the World Series in 2016 and the NBA Finals in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

A story I worked on that had a lasting impact on me

There have been so many interesting stories over the years. From a purely athletic standpoint, it has been pretty cool to write about high school athletes and teams who have won championships in their leagues and at section, district, regional and state tournaments. Writing stories about siblings playing together and parents coaching their children also comes to mind. Apart from that, I have met several people who have overcome challenges. I wrote a story about a young man with autism who played college basketball. I have written about a young woman who suffered a stroke, and I have written about student athletes who have overcome a diagnosis of cancer and a brain aneurysm. These stories of perseverance and resilience inspire me and inspire others.

What is the biggest challenge I face?

Continue to adapt to journalism in the digital age. The world of journalism has changed radically since I joined the editorial staff of ABJ. I never imagined as a kid in the ’80s and’ 90s that people would read stories on a computer, cell phone or other device. I continue to do my best to adapt to the new ways we deliver news digitally in addition to the newspaper. I am still learning every day about the best way to present the news online. Times have changed and the business has evolved, but we still have a staff who work hard and tell accurate, fair and truthful stories.

What I like to do when I’m not working

My wife and I love spending time with our children and other family members and friends. We love to exercise, visit parks, and travel to a lake or ocean. We love to play basketball and volleyball, swim, cycle, walk or run, and lift weights. We enjoy the outdoors during all four seasons. We also like to attend matches as spectators, watch movies and TV shows, and listen to music.

Favorite event or tradition of the Akron region

I have been fortunate enough to cover events as an adult that I attended as a child growing up in Akron. I remember watching the World Series of Golf and the NEC Invitational in person at Firestone Country Club, and the All-American Soap Box Derby next to the Rubber Bowl with my parents and grandparents. I have attended professional baseball games in Cleveland, Canton and Akron and professional basketball games in Richfield and Cleveland with family and friends. Now as an adult I have written about the Bridgestone Invitational, the Senior Players Championship, the Soap Box Derby and professional teams. It was a pleasure to see the events as a spectator and as a member of the media.

Why journalism is important

Newspapers and other media outlets continue to be very important. The media keep people informed. The people I work with at the Akron Beacon Journal produce articles and photographs that report the truth about the issues and topics that affect our readers, and they deserve all the support they can get. Local news and sports coverage continue to be essential for the people of Akron and the surrounding communities, and our daily goal remains to bring this content to you both online and in the newspaper.

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