Why be a sports journalist?

This industry creates literally billions and billions of pounds each year. Whether it’s the player’s salaries, the sporting venues or the various sporting associations that assist at ‘grassroots’ level, the revenue that comes from this subsector drives virtually everything else in sport.

Production companies, publishers and statistics agencies rule the roost here and the unquenchable thirst of sports fans ensures that this sector is only set to grow even bigger over the coming years.

What do sports journalists do?

The daily grind for many people is made all the more bearable because their favourite football team is playing tonight, Wimbledon is coming up soon or the Ashes series is coming round again. People really do love sport, that’s why it’s crucial that it’s given to them through a variety of different media.

When ITV went to adverts at the 2010 World Cup just before England scored, people were a little ‘cross’ to say the least. With people now paying upwards of £50 a month on Sky Sports packages, if there is even the slightest hint of a glitch it can be incredibly damaging. Production companies involved in this process are entrusted with a great deal and have a huge responsibility to deliver.

Whether you’re a runner, a production hand, a cameraman, an editor, a director or a producer, you’ll be working in a highly-pressurised environment, often dealing with live events for the unforgiving viewer. You can read more on the sports production side of things by checking out the Television and Corporate Production subsectors.

The sports broadcasting industry is also very tech-heavy. Whether it’s Hawkeye in cricket and tennis, the continual flirting with goal line technology in football, or the amazing 3D graphics in Golf, they all require I.T. experts to deliver the goods. There’s more information on the right skills to get into this sector and what roles are available in our I.T. & Telecommunications sector, so be sure to check it out.

If you feel you’ve got what it takes to be ‘on-screen talent’ though, there is intense competition for roles in the hot seat or operating the on-pitch microphone. Although often dominated by retired sportsmen and women, sports presenters and commentators take much the same path as TV presenters and actors: going to castings, smiling for the camera and honing that ability to deliver a killer line at the perfect moment.

What about print?

Although there is the glitz and glamour that comes with the television camera, microphone and the editing suite, there is still plenty of room for the written word. Sports journalism, whether online or in print, is ravenously consumed by the millions of sports fans around the world.

Whether it’s the local Sunday league match, a League Two ‘six-pointer’ or the World Cup Final, publications of differing sizes and readerships are required to report on the events that unfold.

Sports journalism acts in much the same way as any other form of journalism. There are freelancers, copywriters, proofreaders, editors and reporters that hunt for the best stories and publish the most interesting takes on the latest events. We’ve covered the online and print world in more detail over in our Journalism: Online and Journalism: Print subsectors, so if you feel that’s your calling, jog over there now!

Whether you want to get involved in the technical side of things, or you fancy yourself the next Jake Humphrey or Martin Samuel (or other people whose names are both first names!), there are plenty of careers available in the world of sports broadcasting, journalism and media.

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