Play for Keeps: Alumnus and Sports Journalist Francesco Porzio
Francesco Porzio, who hails from Milan, graduated from John Cabot University in 2017 with a B.A. in Communications. After earning his degree, he started working as Content Editor at OneFootball, a popular soccer media platform based in Berlin. Francesco was recently inducted into the Elenco dei Professionisti dell’Albo dei Giornalisti italiani, the national registry of professional journalists.
Tell us about your role at OneFootball—what do you do, and how did you end up there?
After I graduated from JCU I wanted to start working in sports journalism. I was looking for new experiences and a friend sent me a link with a job opportunity at OneFootball. They were creating an Italian team to cover the 2018 World Cup. The day after I signed the contract, Italy was eliminated from the playoffs. A few weeks later I moved to Berlin, where I lived until last year. As Content Editor, I cover soccer for the Italian version of the OneFootball app. It’s intense but also super fun. I think it’s an ideal place for young journalists who want to start a career in this field.
Congratulations on being inducted into the Elenco dei Professionisti dell’Albo dei Giornalisti italiani! Can you tell us what this means to you?
In Italy, it is very difficult to be part of the registry of professional journalists. I had to do an oral and a written exam, which required much work and preparation. I did it while I was quarantining in the “red zone” in Milan last October. To be honest, it was a way to get distracted during those times, because I was always working or studying for the exam. For me, it was a special achievement, because both my parents are also journalists. I never compared myself to them, but I wanted to make them proud.
In 2020 you started your own podcast. Can you tell us more about it?
During the first COVID lockdown last year my friend Fabrizio Romano and I wanted to start something together. Fabrizio is a very popular sports journalist, especially outside of Italy. He has a large fanbase (currently 5M followers between Twitter and Instagram), but he didn’t have an outlet where he could spread his news to a wider audience. So, we thought that a podcast would be a good way to interact more with our followers. We chose Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid, because we wanted to start with a small group of listeners, in order to experiment more in the first months. We also wanted to understand how many people were willing to pay for our podcast, which was a way to give it a market value. We talked with several companies that wanted to invest in our podcast and we recently found one that fits perfectly with our project, which was to provide inside stories of the world of soccer. “The Here We Go Podcast” is now available on all streaming platforms.
What made you decide to study at JCU?
After completing my fourth year of high school in the United States, I started looking for a university that could give me the opportunity to join the world of sports communication. I found out about JCU through a family friend who had attended the University years earlier. I immediately fell in love with Rome, so I left Milan and relocated there to study.
Which classes/professors had the most impact on you?
I have many positive memories. For Communications, I have to mention Professors Peter Sarram and Antonio Lopez. Professor Sarram was a mentor throughout my years at John Cabot University. I admired his way of teaching and bringing his passions to his classes. He also gave me the opportunity to express my ideas with a critical and deep approach. Professor Lopez was fundamental in my last semester. Thanks to the Senior Project I developed with him, I understood that I wanted to be a sports journalist. I also want to mention Professor Carolina De Luca, who helped me improve my written English, and Professor Daniel Connelly for my Public Speaking class, which I recommend to anyone who studies at JCU.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m very happy with what I’m doing. I was not expecting to have all these experiences in only four years. However, I have the feeling I’m just at the beginning of my career and I want to achieve much more. In the coming year, I’m planning to work on some new projects and to expand my podcast to include an Italian version since right now it’s only for an English audience. Whenever possible, I plan to travel a lot around the world. All the changes I made in the last year and that I will make in the future have one goal in common: to have the possibility to work from anywhere I want.