He was a man on a mission.

“My first day at Northwestern, I called the office of the student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. That night, I covered the match between the Northwestern women’s soccer team against DePaul.” 

Charlie Goldsmith was attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Illinois. He knew what he wanted to do on his first day of college (Who knows that on their first day of college?) – He wanted to major in journalism at Northwestern University, write stories for the Daily Northwestern, and follow his dream to become a professional sportswriter.

Today, Goldsmith is Cincinnati’s own professional sportswriter. You can see his byline almost every day on the pages of the Cincinnati Enquirer, whether attached to a story about the Cincinnati Reds or the Cincinnati Bengals or some other sport. He resides in Cincinnati and grew up in Amberley Village. His parents, Coleman and Marcie, still live in Amberley. 

It helped a little bit that Charlie grew up in a sports-crazed family with his parents and siblings, Louis and Hillary. Coleman’s love of anything sports-related was a big part of his childhood. 

Before enrolling at Northwestern, Charlie attended Seven Hills High School, graduating in 2017.

“I wanted to be a sports journalist for as long as I can remember. I was connected early,” says Charlie. “I loved the sports world.” He knew what he wanted before he attended Northwestern.

His resume included attending about “fifteen Reds games per year, (presumably) all Bengal’s home games and some on the road too, U.C. and Xavier sports” and likely any other sporting event he could attend with his family. Attending these sporting events was “family bonding” time, commented Charlie, and it all led him to sports journalism. 

He was also drawn to reading about sports. He remembers reading Paul Daugherty in the Enquirer. “I really liked Doc’s style, his story telling and his sharpness.” He began to read about sports in national publications. “I read national publications like the Athletic, paying attention to how the person being interviewed’s story was told.”

His mind was made up in a hurry and he knew what his mission was. That tenacity led him to his dream. Barely three years out of high school he applied for an internship with the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Enquirer knew who Charlie was, they were familiar with Charlie’s burgeoning style and writing skills. He was accepted as an intern in July of 2020. By December of that year, he was hired full time. Since then, he has covered the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals on a full time basis.

Charlie is an asset to the Enquirer. He learns about his craft every day. The powers that be at the Enquirer need to protect this asset. He adds to the sports lore of Cincinnati.

I asked Charlie to describe a few of his favorite stories. He told me about some of the individual meetings he had with players on Cincinnati Sports teams.

“I love it when people open up about their process, their journey from where they were to where they are. Kyle Farmer, former shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, shared stories about writing in his journal and his personal history.”

Writing about the former Reds shortstop and his personal story was right in Charlie’s wheelhouse.

Hunter Green, pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds, is and has been one his favorite interviews. Charlie saw the human interest in Hunter Green. “Hunter talked about getting to where he is today, how at age 15 he started to become famous. I really like when people open up about themselves, how at age 15 Hunter Green began to understand what it meant becoming a voice for the community.”

Spending time with Joe Burrow, quarterback for the Bengals, was another favorite. “I am there watching the different milestones Burrow reaches and tracking his growth. He is the epitome of what it means to be an athlete representing Cincinnati professional sports.”

But can he lead the Bengals to win the Super Bowl? I see and hear Charlie nod over the telephone. “Yes,” he says before I finish the question.

Burrow is not the only Bengal who Charlie has shown interest in. He was there when Ja’Marr Chase struggled a little bit in his rookie season. He witnessed and spent time with Chase as Chase “was overcoming his adversity.” He has spent time speaking with Sam Hubbard about his journey and his touchdown heard around the world. Hubbard is truly a “Cincinnati guy,” from attending Moeller to playing for the the Bengals, with a stopover in Columbus.

Charlie presents sports news by providing greater content than just the “x’s” and “o’s.” He writes with a purpose. He writes “explanatory journalism.” He provides a greater sense to the fans of the person or situation. He describes what he sees and hears. His descriptions are what matter most to Charlie. The Associated Press Sports Editors have nominated Charlie as a national award finalist for explanatory journalism. If you read his stories, he is clear and concise. No wonder he liked the writing of Daughtery.

Being from Cincinnati helps him professionally. He understands Cincinnati sports. He calls Joey Votto a “legend.” “I have watched him play hundreds of times.”

Playoff runs are his favorite events. Reds and Bengals runs are better. Being close to the sports gives him a better understanding of the bigger picture.

I had more questions for the interviewer (thank goodness he had none for me), but he had to run. He was off to do another interview.

For more from Richard Katz’s sports column, click here.