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 Feature Story
Professional In Residence: Back to Her Roots, Megan Ortiz Visits Home

BY TARA DRAKE

Admiring the DI newsroom, Megan Ortiz joked about her school days in "asbestos-filled classrooms."
PHOTO BY AMY HANSEN
Megan Manfull Ortiz (B.A. 2001) never set out to write sports stories. She just wanted to write about people. But, the Washington, Iowa native realized early on that covering sports was her way to do just that.

"I love telling sports stories that aren't about the game," Ortiz said. "The people that care about it already know what happened, so I try to give them something different every now and then."

Ortiz who now works as the Houston Texans beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, said she never regrets getting into the sports arena.

"I sometime wonder what I would have done if I didn't do sports, but I wouldn't be where I am if I did something different," Ortiz said.

Oritz credits her success to experience. She worked four years with The Daily Iowan while in school, and landed three great internships during her summers between semesters.

She interned at The Des Moines Register, Newsday and The Dallas Morning News. She was hired right out of college as the Iowa Hawkeyes beat writer for The Des Moines Register.

"I would have drowned [in the internships] without my experience at The DI," Ortiz said.

It was during her internship with Newsday where she met her husband, Jose de Jesus Ortiz. When they married, Ortiz moved to Houston where he worked as the Houston Astros and Major League Baseball beat writer for the Chronicle.

She freelanced for a few months with The Dallas Morning News and the San Antonio Express-News before landing the NFL beat at the Chronicle.

Ortiz also shared her opinion on the role of women in the sports arena.

"It's very rare for me to see another woman in the press box with me. It's hard for women to be encouraged to continue, and they have to stay with it to keep working up," she said. "It's definitely an uphill climb."

Oritz credits The Association for Women in Sports Media in helping her land such great internships that gave her so much experience before graduating from college.

"Thank God I had experience before I got started in the business," Ortiz said.




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