Class of 2023: Journalism graduate finds voice in world of motorsports
Taylor Kitchen blended podcast idea with journalism school to discover new opportunities
During a race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Taylor Kitchen saw first-hand how she could turn a passion into a career.
Kitchen found herself at the center of the action in the world of motorsports, the result of starting a one-woman media outlet while she was a journalism student at Bowling Green State University.
Years earlier, the Granville, Ohio, native said she became hooked on NASCAR after attending a race at Kentucky Speedway, but didn’t personally know many people who shared her passion.
As a journalism major, however, Kitchen thought she could create a platform of her own to discuss the sport.
“I started to really want to have conversations with people about the sport because I didn’t know many people talking about it in my hometown,” Kitchen said. “In 2021, I started my brand, ‘Above the Yellow Line,’ which started as me just literally talking into a microphone about NASCAR, hoping people would reach out.”
Much to Kitchen’s delight, that is exactly what happened: Her podcasts and videos began gaining traction in the niche world of racing.
Kitchen further honed her skills in the BGSU School of Media and Communication, combining the expertise gained from classes to find her lane, which included an internship with the Podium Finish, a motorsports website, through which she covered the Mid-Ohio race up close.
“I had been covering racing from my couch at home for so long, so being able to be at the track with the drivers, learn their stories, see the flow of the event, take my own photography — it was such an amazing experience,” Kitchen said.
While Kitchen always had the passion, she said she used her time at BGSU, which included working for various campus media organizations, to improve.
“I’ve been producing my show for years, so seeing how broadcasts are done in the real world has been a really good learning experience,” she said. “Learning how to be a producer, how to write for broadcast and gaining videography skills has been a crucial experience for me, so it was nice to be able to come here and better my craft.”
Kitchen’s journey at BGSU led to her brand partnering with TobyChristie.com, a prominent motorsports media outlet, and a role as director of digital media and marketing for AT Racing Development, through which she helps market drivers on social media platforms, a role she plans to continue after graduation.
Jasmine Crighton, an assistant teaching professor in the BGSU School of Media and Communication, said Kitchen’s path at BGSU showed how to turn a passion into something bigger.
“Taylor did exactly what every student should do: find a passion for something and spend time getting really good at it,” Crighton said. “Taylor is a great writer and you can tell she’s especially passionate about NASCAR and motorsports.”
Just years after embarking on a passion project, racing fans now come to Kitchen for knowledgeable coverage about NASCAR.
“People come to her for that content,” Crighton said. “It’s really impressive how she’s networked and built a community around her passion for the sport. Journalism skills can lead people to all sorts of places, not just traditional news media. Taylor’s path is an example of that.”
Though graduation will bring a new chapter for Kitchen, she said feels fulfilled to have found her niche as a BGSU student.
Kitchen’s time at BGSU showed her that there is more than one way to chase a career you love.
“What I learned at BGSU made me feel more confident in my abilities and it showed me that I can do anything and everything I put my mind to,” Kitchen said. “I found my home at BGSU, so leaving is really sad, but I cannot thank this community enough for helping me become my best self.
“You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things or be yourself at BGSU, because you’ll find your people. There is something here for everybody.”
Updated: 04/25/2023 03:28PM