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Sports Journalism

Postby BronXBombers51 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:28 pm

Hey guys...

I'm in my first semester as a college student. I was unsure for a while of what I wanted to major in and what career I really wanted to pursue, but sports writing is really the one thing that kept coming back to me. Writing has always been one of my stronger areas and I can literally talk sports forever. I love checking in on these forums and getting involved in discussions/debates and learning new things. I really feel that sports writing or sports broadcasting (radio?) is what I want to do and was able to take advantage of a family connection in order to get myself into the journalism program (rare for freshman to be immediately admitted.)

I know there are a lot of guys on here that have pursued the sports journalism career, and there are probably even more looking to pursue it, like me. I realize it's a very competitive field and I just wanted to get some advice from you guys who have gone through it or are currently going through it.

To be honest, I really don't have any idea of how to go about it. Obviously I'm part of the journalism program, but what types of things should I be doing to separate myself from the pack? I started a blog and try to write as often as possible to keep some sort of record of my writing. What other things should I be doing to really help me in the future?

Thanks in advance to any advice you can give.
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby dclark0699 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:46 pm

Yay journalism!

I'm a second year at OSU in the journalism program. In a perfect world I'd love to be a satirist or a screenwriter...but I'll probably end up in the sports news world.

I currently write for a campus paper. It is a good idea. Get used to the deadlines and the process as a whole.

Other things I would suggest would be a video production class...with the world turning to the internet, being able to make videos is becoming more important for journalists.

I'd also suggest regularly reading a respected newspaper (NY Times/ USA Today etc).

Most importantly, just write. Write all the time. It is fun. No matter what you are writing about.

Here's my most recent column in case anyone is interested....
http://uweekly.com/newsmag/11-14-2007/7010
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby BronXBombers51 » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:59 am

Snakes Gould wrote:write for your school's newspaper. that will help you get comfortable with the whole newspaper process. if your school has a radio station, try hangin around there. a few years from now, go to your local newspaper. i dont know where you're from, but im not talkin big city paper. if its a smaller town, usually the editor will let you write a few stories about the college team, or high school teams and give you a few bucks (but thats not the important thing. your portfolio will be.


Noticed I didn't mention it before, but I'm a freshman at UMass Amherst. I'm from a small suburban town in CT, outside of New Haven, though...the local paper there is probably my best bet.


dclark0699 wrote:Yay journalism!

I'm a second year at OSU in the journalism program. In a perfect world I'd love to be a satirist or a screenwriter...but I'll probably end up in the sports news world.

I currently write for a campus paper. It is a good idea. Get used to the deadlines and the process as a whole.

Other things I would suggest would be a video production class...with the world turning to the internet, being able to make videos is becoming more important for journalists.

I'd also suggest regularly reading a respected newspaper (NY Times/ USA Today etc).

Most importantly, just write. Write all the time. It is fun. No matter what you are writing about.

Here's my most recent column in case anyone is interested....
http://uweekly.com/newsmag/11-14-2007/7010


Thanks, I'll definitely look into writing for the school paper next semester. I was at a seminar a few weeks ago with the editor of ESPN.com and he also suggested getting involved in video and other multimedia, because that's really where the future of journalism is.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:01 am

Some good advice has already been given: read a lot, write a lot, try to get on with your school's newspaper or a local paper. Official internships are great, but failing that, you may be able to simply volunteer. It's been my experience that stringers are always in high demand, though the stuff you'd be covering most likely wouldn't be very glamorous (at least not initially), you can at least show the editor what you can do. I've found often times that people who want to get into sports writing are reluctant to tackle other topics...don't be. Whenever you first start on--whether it's with your college paper, a local paper, etc--inevitably they'll need someone to cover the local quilting club's annual exhibit...volunteer to do it. Don't be afraid to go outside of sports. Show your editor that you can write, and eventually you'll get to write what you want, but it generally doesn't work in reverse.

Radio is a whole different beast. Hang around your school's station (assuming it has one), and decide if you like it before you devote a lot of time and energy to it.
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby Madison » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:29 am

Here's an idea, and this would be the person to talk to if you are interested. ;-D
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Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby BronXBombers51 » Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:42 pm

Thanks for all the help.

As a journalism major, I'm required to also minor in something (not communications). I was originally going to minor in music performance, since I've been playing the drums for over a decade and that is another big part of my life. I figured that it would satisfy the university requirement and would be fun for me at the same time. However, the more I investigate journalism, the more I realize how competitive it's going to be after I get out of college, so I am thinking that I'm better-suited minoring in something that would relate a little bit more to writing and/or sportswriting/casting.

The problem is, I'm not sure exactly what I should be looking for. Another option I was considering was to major in something else and minoring in journalism, but it appears that journalism isn't offered as a minor at UMass.

UMass has a good sports management program. I figure that a BA in that would at least give me a better shot to get a decent job immediately after school, and I'd still be in the sports world. The problem is, I'd have to double-major since neither is offered as a minor.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about sport management? I honestly don't know a whole lot about it or exactly what career opportunities it presents. Would it give me any advantage in a sports journalism career? Would it be worth it to double-major in both?

I'm just really confused right now. If anyone can offer some insight or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby mweir145 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:48 am

Interesting. I'm also a freshman in university leaning towards journalism.
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Re: Sports Journalism

Postby thedude » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:20 pm

It is all about the internships. If you can get an internship for a medium sized paper, you will make connections at that paper, and will be better able to turn those connections into a job later. When you first get out of school you will probably be forced to get a very low paying job at a small town newspaper covering local news. You might also have to spend some time writing freelance pieces for $100 dollars a piece. But after you put your time in the backwater newspaper, you can use your connections to you made from your internships to move back up to a medium sized newspaper (in maybe a town like like Hartford). Basically the first step is internships, where you make as many contacts as possible.
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