ThreeSixty HotSeat: Master Tesfatsion, Star Tribune
By Zekriah Chaudhry and Will Ragatz
He’s a beat reporter covering the biggest professional sports league in the United States for the largest newspaper in one of the top 15 media markets in the country.
He has shaken the hand of Adrian Peterson, 2012 NFL MVP, and widely considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time.
He has previously interned for MLB.com, ESPNDallas.com and the Seattle Times.
The craziest part? He’s only 23.
Dallas native and Arizona State alum Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital reporter for the Minnesota Vikings. Covering sports for the Minneapolis paper is no small feat, but to accomplish it right out of college seems like a pipe dream. Yet Tesfatsion got his foot in early.
How did he do it? Internships at highly visible media outlets were key. At Arizona State, Tesfatsion also wrote features for the State Press, ASU’s student paper. He reported extensively about both ASU basketball and football.
When Tesfatsion was in high school, he had no idea that people like him could actually get paid to talk about sports.
“I thought it was just a bunch of former athletes,” he said.
His Star Tribune job is already a goal realized. But Tesfatsion said that he isn’t quite content with just covering players like Peterson and Greg Jennings for a living.
Tesfatsion would like to raise a family and travel the world, possibly pursue something in television or radio. Due to his hectic Vikings beat, Tesfatsion knows in the future that he won’t be able to “schedule his son’s soccer games on a Tuesday.”
Tesfatsion works most weekends, and without much of an NFL off-season, most months. When the NFL ends, he moves onto other sports like baseball. This doesn’t leave much time for a life outside of work.
Tesfatsion will be reporting to Vikings training camp in Mankato on July 24, which will be followed by four preseason games and then the four-month long season. After that, he works on the build-up to the NFL Draft in May.
In addition to sports, Tesfatsion loves music — UGK and Outkast, in particular — and sneakers. He currently owns 43 pairs of sneakers, but said at one point he owned more than 90.
Tesfatsion has a lot of time ahead of him in his career — promising years with multiple possibilities. Still, even though he rubs shoulders with famous athletes, Tesfatsion stays down to earth, prioritizing the things that are most important to him.
MEET OUR CAMPERS
Editor’s note: ThreeSixty is fortunate to have wonderful media volunteers collaborate with our instructors during summer camp. As part of our July Intro to Journalism Camp, each visiting media member is being (cruelly?) subjected to our ThreeSixty HotSeat, where students can ask whatever question they’d like to help build a “getting to know you” profile.
Special thanks to Master Tesfatsion of Star Tribune. To learn more about Zekriah Chaudhry and Will Ragatz, check out bios from our 15 campers.