Study Tour Sets Scottish Alum on Path for Career in Sports Journalism

Though Jamie Braidwood can trace his interest in sports writing back to a school assignment he completed at the age of 13, the native of Dunblane, Scotland’s ambition for a career in sports journalism really took hold in 2013 when he won an essay contest rewarding him and eight fellow student journalists with a two-week study tour in the United States.

At the young age of 15, the Update America Student Journalist Exchange enabled Jamie to learn about the journalism industry, as well as to experience American culture firsthand. It also proved influential to his current career pursuits.

Jamie Braidwood, pictured on a recent trip to Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, is a 2013 alum of the Update America Student Journalist Exchange.

During the tour, which was funded by the U.S. Embassy in London’s Cultural Affairs Office and managed by Cultural Vistas, Jamie and his fellow student journalists met with representatives from the likes of BuzzFeed, Idealist, and the The Wall Street Journal. In DC, the participants enjoyed visiting sites which included the Newseum, the offices of National Public Radio, and the Pew Research Center.

The site visit which Jamie remembers most fondly is the one which helped him decide on a career in sports journalism. Upon seeing the Washington, D.C. offices of SB Nation—a leading sports news website owned and operated by Vox Media—Jamie became much more certain of his future career interests. “Seeing a newsroom like that was a really cool moment for me and it made me sort of think, ‘I want to do this in the future.’”

Jamie’s initial exposure to the U.S. and continued enthusiasm for journalism later led to a semester studying at the University of Missouri where, besides developing a fondness for the hometown Missouri Tigers, he also gained experience working for a local NPR affiliate.

Upon returning to Edinburgh Napier University, Jamie’s experience in Missouri inspired him to launch ENRG Sport—an online platform offering original, insightful and entertaining sports writing, produced by Napier journalism students. The online platform Jamie launched recently earned several Scottish Student Journalism Awards.

In June, he started the next stage of his career with a year-long internship with ESPN in London. Given the accomplishments under his belt already, Jamie has demonstrated to be one to make his own path. We expect his long-held passion for journalism and past experiences will surely provide him with plenty of opportunities in the future—on either side of the pond.

And at Cultural Vistas, we’re pleased to have had a small part in that journey.

“It’s great being able to look back on the study tour and not just say that I enjoyed it but say, ‘Yeah, that helped me move forward and that’s still something I’m interested in doing,’” Jamie said. “I’m just so grateful and so glad I could take part in that program.”

The student journalists in DC during the 2013 tour. The ever-prominent Jamie stands front and center.