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Taylor Smiley

Multimedia Journalism graduate seeking a creative role in sports media with a focus in content creation

Check out my Sports Blog below:

Taylor's Take

University Christian bests Maclay in Class 2A regional semifinals

University Christian held off Maclay Friday night on their home turf in a 35-28 win to move onto next Friday’s Class 2A state semifinals in Lakeland against Victory Christian…

About Me

My name is Taylor Smiley and I am a graduate from the University of North Florida. I am looking for my next creative endeavor within the professional world of sports. I believe my ability to lead and collaborate in group settings will set me apart in the professional world. My undergraduate career has prepared me for a multitude of roles within sports media: communications, TV production, multimedia journalism, marketing and sport management. I have a comprehensive understanding of social media management and experience in communications and content creation across multiple media platforms.

My previous internship opportunities have enhanced my capabilities to perform exceptionally in the professional world. My experience ranges from client-focused video production, news and sports journalism and reporting, media and marketing for a professional sports organization as well as assisting the Assistant Director of Athletics Communications with the school's podcast centered around University of North Florida athletes.
I host my own podcast titled Taylor's Take, where I interview past and current professional and collegiate athletes on their story, and their take, on current trends in sports and pop culture today. In addition to scouting potential interviewees, I edit my own material on Adobe Audition, and my podcast runs weekly at UNF Spinnaker, the radio portion of our school's student news organization.

I would pinpoint some of my best attributes as being goal-driven, an effective communicator, problem-solver, creator and dependable employee. I believe my vast knowledge of sports and self-articulation will aid in my ability to bring a unique edge to the professional realm of sports media. I thrive on completing projects under strenuous deadlines, as I believe any good professional is able to do so. 

    Senior Internship

During my internship at The Florida-Times Union, I was able to write and edit a number of my own stories. I covered material for the Metro section, such as human-interest features and breaking news stories, and several of which have appeared on the front page of the section or on A-1. I also contributed to the sports department, where I covered local high school sports, the annual Florida-Georgia showdown, Jaguars games and content, and the U.S.W.N.T. friendly match here in Jacksonville. I conducted a number of my own interviews in the field, curated questions for each interviewee, and oftentimes coordinated in-person and phone interviews for my own stories. I pitched ideas to my sports editors for beats within the department, and worked closely with all of my editors to ensure that I kept my material within company guidelines and morale. I additionally updated stats online for the Times-Union following high school football games, where I took my own stats, and updated my Twitter during sporting events as well.

I pitched a story to my sports editor about Jaguars DE Calais Campbell and all of the work he has done in the community, particularly, with his new initiative "Calais' Season of Giving." I was able to spotlight an athlete who is not only a key figure on the field, but a leader off of the field and in the locker room as well. Telling players' stories, or even small components of them, invigorates me to continue uncovering who the athletes are behind the helmet--and allowing the community to do so, as well.

The Atlanta Gladiators netted two early unanswered goals to defeat the Jacksonville Icemen 4-1 on Wednesday, October 30, for an ECHL matchup in front of 4,236 fans at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. I was able to interview head coach Jason Christie postgame. 

When the Jaguars faced off against the Saints in week 6, I was privileged to be able to cover the team's All-25 players in Jaguars history. I interviewed legends Rashean Mathis, Fred Taylor and Paul Posluszny.

After the Jaguars home field loss to the Saints, I interviewed Saints LB Demario Davis about how it feels to win the first matchup against a much younger Gardner Minshew, since both players hail from Brandon High School in Brandon, Mississippi. Gardner looked up to Davis as an accomplished three-sport athlete during his time at Brandon, and both players were excited to represent their hometown on the field Sunday.

I interviewed a handful of fans at the annual Florida-Georgia showdown here at TIAA Bank Field. I also interviewed a handful of Georgia Bulldog players in a mixed zone format with the rest of the media after the game.

I was able to cover the U.S.W.N.T. last home game of the year in a friendly matchup against Costa Rica. I attended the press conference with new head coach Vlatko Andonovski, and interviewed both Andi Sullivan and Emily Sonnett. I also attended the team's open practice to interview soccer fans who traveled from the greater Jacksonville area and beyond to watch their favorite players perform one last time this year.

The climate change protest, led mostly by a handful of high school students in the greater Jacksonville area, was one of many that occurred Friday morning, September 20, amid global climate protests. More than 100 demonstrators gathered in the bright morning sun to advocate for climate policy change ahead of next year’s election, and I interviewed some of those who organized the event, as well as onlookers and supporters.

Writing Samples

I wrote each of these stories for a Multimedia Storytelling class for my University. 

Maria's Story

Her parents migrated to America a little over three decades ago from Nicaragua with the hopes of attaining job security and better opportunities for the family they had hoped to start. Their vision for the future changed slightly once they learned of the President-elect back in November 2016. The 2016 election raised the issue of immigration policies in political and public debates with Trump at the forefront.

Full Editorial Story

Walter Russell Mead

"American power is linked at the core to capitalism. And capitalism, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, is the most revolutionary force in the history of planet earth. It’s not about doing the same old thing in the same way.”

Full Editorial Story

New Journalism

In order to gauge how well the citizen agenda is working versus the campaign agenda, you can see how closely candidates are aligning with the voters’ concerns. Reporters will ask questions drawn from the citizens agenda to gear candidates toward the questions their community wants answered. After all, “synthesizing a citizens agenda at the beginning creates a mission statement for your campaign coverage later on.”

Full Story Here

Media Samples

Bethany Willis from Craving Bethany

This is a project interview I conducted and edited for class at my University. Bethany Willis covers her passion for photography, reinventing healthy eating and her newfound love for food blogging.

Internship with CFM, The Buzz

This is an interview video I contributed to in filming and editing for a segment for the Buzz Media Group's BUZZ TV in Jacksonville, Florida, in association with Client Focused Media.



"During my time with Ms. Smiley I found her to be to be eager to learn and use her creativity to take her daily tasks to the next level. Additionally, Ms. Smiley is very personable and well spoken. She was able to connect with others whether it be other interns, the players, or personnel from the community. Ms. Smiley was able to work under both time constraints and pressure while still creating a high quality product."

- Sami Sadler, Jacksonville Giants, Manager

"Taylor just completed a very successful internship with The Florida Times-Union this fall semester. It was quite satisfying for the newsroom editors and me to see Taylor grow and progress as a writer. Taylor is organized, communicates well with editors, and is very driven to excel with each given assignment. Her positive attitude and engaging personality are assets I believe would enhance your staff."

- Joe DeSalvo, The Florida-Times Union, Managing Editor of Specialty Audience

Taylor's Take Podcast

Episode 1 - Demetrius McCray

On it's way.

Source: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Episode 2 - Lonnie Pryor

Lonnie and I talk about his transition from running back at Okeechobee High School in Okeechobee, Florida, to fullback at Florida State.  He discusses his scholarship offers from big name schools and deciding to attend FSU, what it's really like to play for Jimbo Fisher, topping off his impressive career at FSU by winning the Orange Bowl MVP, and the pressure and instability of a career within the NFL.

Source: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America