Chicago, IL – Christina Kahrl continues her groundbreaking sports journalist career and moves back to California to become a sports editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It looks like a transsexual has never before got a job of this level with a major daily newspaper on any subject, let alone sports,” said Kahrl, who lived and worked in Chicago for 25 years since 1985 – and was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2014. “Landing this job is as historic as my hiring at ESPN 10 years ago or my coming out almost 20 years ago.
“It comes to a critical point in our nation’s history and for journalism – the conversation about trans public life has changed, particularly the role of trans people in sport. We have seen large outlets do a remarkably poor job of reporting on issues affecting the lives of trans people, particularly sports and public order. Journalism can and must do better as an industry. One of the best ways to do this is to tap into the pool of transjournalists who would diversify more than just their newsrooms and hire them to take a more rigorous and openly professional approach to reporting stories in a front page section develop political engagement. “
Kahrl, originally from Sacramento, added, “As of the New York Times, we see way too many outlets completely screwing up the topic and delivering second-rate coverage or worse. Both the subjects of these stories and the audience for whom they were written deserve better; You deserve skilled journalism. “
Kahrl lived in Chicago from 1985 to 2000 and then again from 2007 to 2017. She now lives in Long Beach, California for at least a few more weeks before moving to the Bay Area. And then her daily life will all be giants, 49ers and more.
Chronicle’s sports division has a dozen writers, a few editors – and the Giants, 49ers, Golden State Warriors, the San Jose Sharks, Stanford, Cal, and the other four NCAA Division I schools in the area, as well as other colleges and prep and golf when it swings into town, and much more.
Locals also still have an emotional bond with the Raiders who used to be in Oakland and now play in Las Vegas.
“I enter the role with a sense of history and responsibility, for the people I work with, for the people I work for, for the readers, and for the teams and players whose stories we want to tell. (And) for my community too, so when the next trans person comes through that door, it’s both no big deal and a big, wonderful, very great thing of their own from someone, the trans or gender queer or not -binary and most of everyone is just great at doing what they do. As a wallflower, you don’t get to this level, ”said Kahrl.
Her diverse short-term goals are simple: “Learning to work with my new teammates. Getting to grips with the pressure side of the roll, because this is new to me and I still have a lot to learn. Leverage the value of the writing team and editors’ experience and figure out where I can help them. “
Kahrl worked at ESPN for 10 years, both in print and in TV. And that also made history. “The decade I’ve spent there has not only shown that I can do the job, it has also shown that transjournalists can work at the highest level of journalism,” she said. “I’ve earned a few promotions, wrote and published the news, learned a lot about multimedia reporting, planned large projects, and worked with some incredibly talented people.”
Kahrl’s ESPN run in 2013 included working on her first on-site World Series. She also interviewed legendary longtime baseball player Minnie Minoso about the integration of baseball as Jackie Robinson from Latin America and the Hall of Fame, which she described as a “privilege” but a tragic one because it turned out to be his last interview – Minnie died soon after and has to be due from Cooperstown, ”said Kahrl. “As the first trans sports journalist about Chris Mosier, the first out-trans member of Team USA in the international championship competition (that was also a highlight). That was (was) probably my only favorite job, not (just) because Chris is both a great athlete and an athlete who must be admired by all Americans. “
The ESPN appearance included working with talented storytellers such as David Schoenfield, Jeff Passan and Buster Olney.
“Nothing is more fun than getting caught in the moment, thinking about how to cover a no-hitter as it unfolds, or meeting the trading deadline,” she said.
Kahrl picked three who she’d learned the most from, including Claire Smith, the first woman to become a full-time MLB beatwriter. “(She) taught me a lot about our responsibility to others and about the history of the game,” said Kahrl.
“Learning from working with Marly Rivera because she invested in telling the stories of players, but also from her willingness to tackle the toughest stories and put absolutely everything into one story. And finally, from the editor who hired me, David Kull, who taught me a lot about leadership without the fear of getting your hands dirty. Taking the example as a starting point, he tried to expand the variety of perspectives and breadth of ESPN’s baseball coverage. “
Kahrl was encouraged by several writers (both ESPN and Chronicle) to apply for the position in San Francisco. The final blessing came from her wife, Charley.
“Working for Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, the new editor-in-chief of Chronik, is a privilege and a unique opportunity for me to learn and work with this writing crew at one of the best sports markets in the country. in one of the largest cities in the world, ”said Kahrl. “Chicago spoiled me; I always thought that only the Bay Area was at this level. “
And yes, she misses Chicago very much. Well, except in winter.
Starting with the people who call Chicago at home.
She used to live in Rogers Park, which she called “a real neighborhood with a lot of everything mixed up, where kids at the local school learned my dog’s name and greeted us, where you got the names of everyone in their favorite spots learned to grab a street taco or a slice. “This sense of community that transcended LGBTQ people, but also fully involved them… in a way, that’s my vision of what this country can be, where we can get along and maybe talk about a ball game or two to pass the time.
“In a way, Chicago is at home because it’s still the place where I feel inside my bones, where I grew up, where I took some of my greatest personal and professional steps, and where I was Charley got married. “
Kahrl is not sure whether she will also write for the chronicle. Your editorial and editorial responsibility will have priority.
“(This is) one of the best jobs in sports journalism for anyone, anywhere, because of the teams, the people who cover them, and the fans who care about them. It’s a challenge and an adventure, ”said Kahrl. “(This is) an opportunity for me to use what I’ve learned from 25 years in digital media and help a talented sports team deliver unparalleled sports coverage.”
Sound sporty … With Christina Kahrl
Long-term goals: “Glory for the Sporting Green, success for the Chronicle, and hundreds of thousands of readers new and old who can’t wait to read our next story.”
Sport, circa 2021: “(It is) in a place where we can’t just keep doing sport, and that’s a good thing. If anything, sport gives us the strength to face many of the most difficult problems facing our society today as sport reflects, amplifies and addresses those problems while enjoying competition, excellence and effort. The excellence of the present that we see on the diamond, the rust, the yard, the ice … it is no accident; This reflects everything we learn about performance and opens up new perspectives for storytelling for us as journalists. “
The past year: “I think it helped us to redefine what is important, not only in sport, but also in life. Sport is essentially about how we enjoy our own time, and it’s still tied into the life of the country – through the pandemic, through the exciting conversations we have to have about race and equality in this country. It’s not just about 2020, it’s about now and it’s about tomorrow. “