By Emma Lewis
Rob Peeters, B.A.J. ’18, has been covering motorsports since 2015, most recently reporting on the Indianapolis 500 for Motorsport Illustrated and IndyStar and the Verizon 200 At The Brickyard for his new employer, WTHR Channel 13. Peeters previously worked for IndyStar and for Gannett/USA TODAY Network, but was laid off in 2022. In June, he landed a job at WTHR, Indianapolis’ NBC station. We asked him about his latest gig:
1. What is your current position at WTHR?
“I’m a digital desk editor. I landed the position after my December layoff at Gannett. The job descriptions were extremely similar.”
2. What does a day at WTHR look like for you?
“My daily tasks include writing news copy, monitoring police scanners, scheduling and moderating social media, making clips of each newscast, directing reporters to crime scenes for live shots, scheduling programming for our live streaming channel, and occasionally covering major events.”
3. What’s your favorite task to do in your daily work?
“I really enjoy what I do. I don’t like writing about shootings and things like that, but being able to write the content I want in the downtime makes it all worth it. My favorite daily task is scheduling our live streaming app, 13+. I love writing and working with digital content and strategies, but I’ve always wanted to control a television schedule. If you’re ever looking for something to stream late at night, I’m usually the one programming the overnight schedule on the 13+ app.”
4. What is your best piece of advice for job-seeking journalism and public relations graduates?
“Identify your passions and perfect your craft around those. That way, when you need to step out of your element, the skills become second nature. It’s actually surprising to me how the skills I honed while writing about my motorsports passion became easily transferrable when I started writing about other sports and, later, hard news.”
5. How did your education at IUPUI prepare you for your career?
“It’s funny you’d ask about that. I was just thinking the other day how the photojournalism class I took my freshman year came in handy recently [while covering the Verizon 200 At The Brickyard]. I had no idea I’d end up using the photography skills I learned as much as I do. It’s so imperative to learn composition and editing because you never know when you’ll be sent out into the field. It was very rewarding to be able to take the lead on WTHR’s Brickyard coverage.
Honestly, I think I’ve applied just about everything I learned during my time at IUPUI in my professional career. I have been primarily doing sports journalism for the past seven years. However, now, I’m writing news copy 95% of my work time. I’m so glad I retained all that information because without it, I’d have been in way over my head.
Everything I learned from Malcolm Moran, Pam Laucella, Chris Lamb, and all the other sports journalism professors has helped prepare me to the point where everything I needed to do was second nature.”