Josh Mathews profile

735 views

Ralph Winfrey | mwinfrey2@radford.edu

Sports aficionado and Radford alumnus, Josh Mathews is well versed in the field of journalism. If you spot a bearded Braves fan, wearing shorts and tweeting at 100 mph, then it’s most likely him.

This Chester, Virginia native graduated from Thomas Dale High School knowing that sports journalism would be his life. He was very involved with student media during his undergrad, writing for The Tartan and interning for ESPN radio in Blacksburg.

He doesn’t feel that he was prepared his job right after graduation, but after spending some time in the field, he quickly adjusted. He then found his lane and capitalized.

Being personable is what separates Mathews from others in the profession. He began his career as a stringer under the supervision of Tom Dozier, editor of the Progress Index located in Petersburg. The first article he wrote was about Red Socks all-star and Prince George High School alumnus, Jackie Bradley Jr.

“It is crazy that the athlete in my first story made it to the pros,” he said.

He then started writing full time for the Village News and achieved the editor position within a year. He covers high school sports in the central region of Virginia. Over the last seven years, his following has steadily increased due to his reputation for accurate stories and live game updates.

Fans also like him as a person, as numerous selfies are floating around twitter with him, fans and players. He is easy to talk to, and the community actively supports him.

A year and a half ago Mathews took his following and created “RVA Game Break” with business partner Tom Dozier. He learned much about the business and marketing aspects of building a brand from the time he spent working for the Village News.

“Game Break is my baby! I have watched it grow, and we now have a reach of 75k and growing. During the next five years, I plan to keep building RVA Game Break, but I am open to other opportunities,” said Mathews.

He is not a stranger when it comes to national stories either as he broke a story before ESPN about Andrew White III, a basketball player who was transferring from Kansas to Syracuse.

He also spoke about the importance of grinding hard, doing good work and always being present. Showing up is half of the battle and putting in the effort is the other half. In this industry, a person’s reputation plays an invaluable role in the opportunities that they are presented.

He experienced this first hand when a recommendation gave him the chance to have a “Cup of Joe” in the big leagues. He was asked to cover the 2015 NIT Tournament quarterfinals for the Miami Herald. This gave him the chance to show his work in a premiere sports market.

Richmond’s Flying Squirrels then hired him as their managing editor. He became a verified stat tracker for the MLB and is getting closer to his dream job of writing for a professional baseball team.

Mathews also has freelanced for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He seems to put his foot in every door that he walks by and it is working. He is known for his craft, and better knows how the industry runs because of it.

Mathews then evaluated where journalism is. It is hard to make it in this industry without having the drive and commitment to do it. That is something that cannot be taught or learned. One must genuinely like doing this to succeed.

He will be coming up on his decade anniversary of being a full-time journalist soon, and he sees this as just the beginning of his career in the field.

It ‘s hard to get a salary based journalism job because everyone wants to do it and once the job is filled, there is usually a long time to wait until it opens again.

“It helps to be able to do a little bit of everything, from photography to HTML. If the media outlet can hire one person to do many jobs, then that is what they are going to do. It sucks but that is just where the industry is at right now,” he said.