Graduation is an end for most students, but not Charles Baggerly ’23.
Charles has continued to cover TCU baseball for TCU 360, the student-produced news website, as the regular season ended, and the team swung through the post-season. Now, he’s on the road to Omaha to cover the team’s run in the College World Series.
“I’m most proud of my TCU baseball coverage over the last four months,” Charles said in a post on LinkedIn. “Thank you to the folks at TCU 360 for letting me continue writing after graduation.
“I wanted to finish what I started and provide full coverage.”
Dude you’re literally graduating rn get off your phone
— Dominick schiappa (@Domschiappa) May 12, 2023
Coming up to bat
Charles’s journalism career at TCU started at KTCU until the COVID-19 shutdown left him without work.
“I struggled to find an identity at TCU, bouncing around different organizations and groups. I didn’t have a clear direction until the second semester of my junior year, when I started covering TCU baseball for TCU 360,” he said. “I reached out to [then-Sports Editor] Colin Post to see if there was a baseball beat writer. He provided me with an opportunity and helped me along the way.
“I had a lot to learn at that point, but it got my foot in the door,” he said.
A home run
His senior year, Charles succeeded Colin as Sports Editor. In the fall, he juggled his editor duties with an internship at the Dallas Morning News, where he covered TCU sports. That internship took him to the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship in Los Angeles.
“By the time I landed my first internship, I still had lots to learn. [Journalism professor] Chip Stewart saw my baseball coverage in 2022 and referred me to the DMN for the TCU sports blogging position,” Charles said.
“I almost turned them down because I wanted to perform my duties as head sports editor of 360 to the best of my ability,” he said. Director of Student Media Jean Marie Brown convinced him he could do both.
“It was the right call, and things worked out well for me.”
In July, he’ll start as High School Sports Editor / Reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“Baseball coverage is always tricky for student journalists, because for some the season lasts well past the end of the semester, Brown said. “Charles has covered baseball for two seasons. About a week before graduation he asked if he could keep following the team and I couldn’t say anything but, “okay.’”
Coaching the rookies
Charles was interested in a sports before career well before coming to TCU.
“I wanted to be the next ESPN analyst or TV personality,” he said. “Eventually, I learned audiences don’t care about your opinion unless you’re credible and established. When reading or listening to sports coverage, fans would much rather hear from the head coach than a 20-year-old student.”
Charles said he learned some lessons the hard way: Ignore the trolls. Keep polarizing opinions to yourself. Stay unbiased.
“Of course, people have ties to TCU and their peers. One of the most important aspects of student journalism is separating your personal beliefs and feelings from your work,” he said. “My time at TCU taught me consistency, accuracy and networking are a journalist’s best friends.”