How Do I Get Into a Sports Writing Career?

Sports writers travel from game to game and write about their observations regarding the game's outcome, players and coaches. Sports writers who cover a specific major sport usually travel with teams, while local sports writers travel within a specific region and cover various teams. Keep reading if you want to know how to build a career in sports writing. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Become a Sports Writer

Most individuals who become sports writers earn a bachelor's degree in a related field and then transition into the sports journalism industry. While enrolled in college, students can take steps to prepare themselves for the work routine by participating in internships or joining school organizations. After graduation, most degree holders start at smaller news publications and then work their way up to larger news companies.

Important Facts About Sports Writing Careers

Work Environment Office setting, majority of the time in the field pursuing a story lead
Key Skills Interest in sports, objectivity, interpersonal communication, writing, editing
Median Salary (2015)$35,206
Similar Occupations Television anchor, announcer, newspaper editor, social media specialist

Source: www.payscale.com

Enter a Journalism Program

Sports writing is held to the same journalistic standards as traditional news writing. Majoring in journalism at a college or university would give you the proper training to become a professional sports writer. Courses will delve into subjects such as the basics of reporting and news writing, legal and ethical issues, feature writing and copy editing. Many schools offer advanced studies in sports writing that will allow you to develop basic skills in areas such as filling out a box score, interviewing subjects after a game and play-by-play reporting.

Write for a College Paper

Most colleges and universities have newspapers and other outlets such as student or departmental websites. There, students might find writing opportunities. In fact, many journalism programs require you to work at some point for the school paper. College publications cover a variety of NCAA sports at the Division I, II or III levels, so you could build both experience and press clippings by writing about an eclectic mix of sports for both men and women.

Get an Internship

Journalism students have opportunities to spend time at media outlets as interns where they can learn the trade and build contacts while conducting basic journalism duties. These internships can be full-time and last through a summer, or they can be part-time and last a semester. While paid internships do exist, most are unpaid.

Work for Local News Publications

Many local publications that cover either small towns or neighborhood sections of municipalities hire writers fresh out of college, particularly those who can display evidence of their writing abilities. If no full-time positions are available, editors of these publications are often receptive to hiring freelance reporters and sports writers. Either opportunity would give you chances to prove that you can effectively write about a variety of sports. The ultimate goal is to build your portfolio in order to eventually apply and find employment with a daily newspaper or news service as a full-time sports writer.

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