Senior Column | Learning how to take chances

I got a start at the Daily Iowan because someone took a chance on a clueless freshman. Now, I’m learning to take chances in an impending professional career.


Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Funny enough, I didn’t even think about journalism as a career until I stepped on the University of Iowa’s campus.

I didn’t write a legitimate print sports story until the summer before my sophomore year of college — I think it was something about volleyball, but I’m not entirely sure.

I started my career at The Daily Iowan on a whim. The DI had a booth at a welcome week event ahead of my freshman year of college, and I ended up talking to Lucy Rohden, the DI’s TV Director at the time. As soon as I told her I was interested in being a TV sports producer, she said, “You’re hired.”

By all accounts, that was a big risk for her to take. For all she knew, I could’ve been someone who quit within the first two weeks and left her right where she started. But it worked out, right?

Four years later, I’ve been a TV sports producer, a print sports reporter, assistant sports editor, and sports editor for the DI. I’ve covered football, women’s basketball, field hockey, volleyball, softball, baseball, and written a story on just about every sport the Hawkeyes have to offer.

For a while, I’ve been grappling with the mortality of my DI career. This year has been full of opportunities, but I was also very aware of it being a year of lasts. The Music City Bowl in Nashville in December 2022 was likely the last time I covered a Hawkeye football game as an Iowa beat reporter. I traveled to Minneapolis, Seattle, and Dallas in my last season as an Iowa women’s basketball reporter. In the process, I became one of two DI sports reporters to ever cover a Final Four team and the only one to cover a national championship game.

Those are the experiences I would never have gotten without the DI, and I’m eternally grateful that this student-run newspaper puts so much emphasis on professional experience.

But now, change is hard. As an incoming trending sports reporter for IndyStar, I’m going to a new market by myself. There will be a new city to absorb, new teams to cover, and new protocols to learn.

But I know some things will stay the same: I’ll still be covering women’s basketball, I’ll still look up synonyms for common words (like encouragement and motivation two grafs down), and I’ll still write random ledes, phrasing ideas, and stats in my notes app.

As always, a senior column wouldn’t be complete without acknowledgments.

To Lucy, for giving a clueless freshman a chance; Robert Read, for being my first print editor and dealing with the worst of my writing; Austin Hanson and Chris Werner, for being fantastic co-editors and friends; John Bohnenkamp, who was always there for motivation; Jeff Linder, for years of friendship and advice on the women’s basketball beat; and everyone in the Iowa media for encouraging me and all other DI staffers.

My college career — and my life for the past four years — has basically been defined by the DI. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.