Sports radio host JR Jackson talks changing media landscape

Zachary Brandwein, Staff Reporter

JR Jackson spoke at Tulane University as part of his “Media for the Movement” tour. (Jada Roth)

As part of his “Media for the Movement” tour, radio host JR Jackson spoke at Tulane University. Jackson started his career on YouTube in 2009 and now has 10 videos with over 1 million views. He gave tips on how to get into the ever growing sports media field and shared some of his experiences as a Black male in the industry. 

Jackson touched on his experiences on tour, breaking into the sports industry and his thoughts on the current state of the industry.

“You can’t be a company or a brand without being a media company, or having a media element to it … So how has the media changed? It’s everywhere. How you want it, where you want it, how you receive it, it’s widely available,” Jackson said. 

Jackson launched his YouTube channel in 2009, with a video expressing his opinions on the former Knick Gary Sheffield and how he should retire. The hallmark of Jackson’s brand is providing a forum for fans to share their sentiments on his adaptation of a radio show.

Jackson partnered with the Special Olympics and Experian recently and said he felt connected to the cause. 

“The Special Olympics is just an organization that believes in giving people a chance, and I believe in it the same. Not just for someone who’s black, or short, or yellow, or pink, or someone who has [intellectual and developmental disabilities], it doesn’t matter. I don’t care where anybody is from, it’s just like ”give people an equal shot and let them shine,” Jackson said. “We do enough to treating people like trash, I think we as people can do better … [Experian is] helping me go out to all these colleges, because financial equality and literacy is a part of giving people a chance too.”

Recently, commentators have pointed out how large sports networks hire the biggest personalities they can find who are willing to share controversial opinions in exchange for views. To name one, Max Kellerman’s “Give me Iguodala” exemplifies this. Jackson said that these kinds of “hot takes” are commonplace now, as that is how the business is evolving. 

“They have been able to cultivate and grow their careers to where they are at now, millions of dollars, on how media moved and changed. Media continues to move and change, and so, it makes dollars, it makes sense,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s final words of wisdom came in reference to those interested in entering the sports commentary industry.

“Figure out how to be different, and stand out. That’s it. Understand what makes you different, and roll with it,” Jackson said. “Be you, be authentic, be genuine, don’t be what somebody thinks you should be, be who you are comfortable being and try to grow.”

You can find JRSportBrief on Youtube, Twitter and catch his show on CBS radio every weekday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

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