Pedro Gomez Foundation launched to support aspiring journalists
The sudden passing of long-time ESPN journalist Pedro Gomez last Sunday led to numerous tributes flooding in. Now, Gomez’s passing has led to some new resources for aspiring journalists through the newly-launched Pedro Gomez Foundation.
The foundation will focus on supporting young people looking to get into journalism.
As Katherine Fitzgerald writes in The Arizona Republic:
The Pedro Gomez Foundation was formed almost immediately. The foundation will first support scholarships for students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, with the plan to expand to other passions of Pedro’s.
[Family friend Nikki] Balich, who is also the Executive Director of the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, made the connection between the Gomez family and the Cronkite School. Balich said Sandi knew right away that helping the next generation of sports journalists must be part of Pedro’s legacy.
She said that she is going to live her life to try to be more like Pedro,” Balich said. “She just wants to do good. And this is what Pedro would want.”
Like so many others, I grew up seeing Pedro on TV, marveling at his reporting. When I eventually met him on assignments in Arizona, I was floored by his warm demeanor. Around the same time, I was also teaching Intro to Sports Reporting at ASU. Eventually, I asked a question he had gotten many, many times: Will you come talk to my class?
Pedro agreed immediately, needing just two follow-up questions: When and where? I would tell him the room number and then pass along the unfortunate information: the class was an 8 a.m. That felt like too big an ask. “Maybe 8:30?” I said.
“I’m good with whatever helps you,” he would say. “If you want 8, I can do that.”
So in person or over Zoom, Pedro came to class the last couple of years. Each time, he would harp on the importance of asking good, open-ended questions. Don’t ask yes-or-no questions, he would say. Ask why and how.
“It’s a simple rule. It’s an old rule. But it still works today. It still works today,” he said in 2019.