Are you a fan of a certain sport? Do you want everyone to know about it? Can you give a blow-by-blow account of a close game to your friends—or really, anyone who will listen? Well, guess what? You can actually make a career out of this—other than becoming an athlete. How? By becoming a sports journalist!
They’re well known for being unique personalities who are experts on everything happening on and off the court. They’re all caught up with the latest in team trading, sports history, high potential rookies, effective coaches, and specific athletic techniques.
It’s not easy: You need to be a good journalist before anything else. After all, you’re expected to write opinion, interpretative, and analysis pieces. You’ll also need public speaking skills if you want to host a sports segment on a TV program.
Famous examples in the Philippines include Gretchen Ho, Dyan Castillejo, and Marc Nelson. While some of them are former athletes, that’s not a must-have trait for the job. Wanna be like them? Here’s how you can score a career in Sports Journalism!
What is a Sports Writer and What is Sports Journalism?
First things first, you need to know exactly what a sports writer does. They’re reporters-slash-writers who deliver accurate and engaging info about sports to blogs, websites, newspapers, or magazines. You can specialize in one particular sport, such as basketball, soccer (football), or volleyball. Maybe even venture into the non-traditional games, like E-Sports tournaments, which hold their own grand finals (in that case, check out our separate career guide for E-sports).
Sports writing is a flexible job since you can work under a publishing company, build credibility through your personal blog, or freelance your articles to several publishers online. You must, however, be accurate since you have the power to make or break reputations, create buzz around a team, and analyze crucial decisions during playoffs.
If you think writing means not having to deal with numbers, guess what? Sports writers have to deal with statistics, from player skills (how far players can shoot, block, etc.) to the probability of scoring. Oh, and when you think of sports writers, a misconception people have is that you need to be on TV. But you can write for print, radio, and digital platforms too.
How To Train Your Inner Sports Journalist
Although you don’t need a specific license to become a sports journalist or writer, getting a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (AB in Journalism) or Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication is a great start.
Your electives will be dedicated to the practice of news writing, feature writing, editing, copy reading, and advertising. These are essential to developing journalistic and reporting skills. This course also means immersing yourself in the press industry, be it traditional or digital. Expect to familiarize yourself with editing, design, and production on social media.
Taking up Digital Marketing courses is also great for sports reporting online, especially with today’s evolving media platforms.
Pro-tip: It pays to start early! If you’re already studying, try to center your thesis around sports or apply for internships in or related to the media industry. That said, being passionate about sports is essential to a sports journalist. Something you can grow, but you can’t exactly study.
So watch those games, join in the huge crowds, talk to athletes in your school, and know more than just the basics of a sport. People are relying on you to tell them why a team is worth it. That’s a big ask, and only resilient sports journalists can get to the heart of the game while relaying the facts objectively.
Want to learn about the Senior High Sports Track? Or are you looking for other sports-related careers and athletic scholarships? We’ve gotcha covered. For more articles about in-demand college courses and more, check out our College Life section on the Edukasyon.ph blog!