Student Guide: How to Get a Leg Up in a Sports Media Job
You can make it in sports media!
There was once a time that you could find sports journalism being written off as a mere “toy department”. However, since sports began beaming on television, the sports sector has achieved immense growth in its relevance and also with the importance of sports media personnel.
When it comes to sports media and journalism, things get slightly more technical than just watching games from the stands or from your television set, or even making sports bets. As a student, you will have to learn about journalism before you can even break into the sports media sector among other necessities you must fulfill. All these could sound impossible but you should not worry. Below are some of the best steps that you should incorporate when getting a leg up into a sports media job:
The best way for you to acquire skills in the sports media arena is by devouring all the greatest works in that sector. The difference between a good sports journalist and an exceptional one all lies in what they listen to over the radio, what they read in the newspapers, what they watch the television and any other activities that help in the polishing of their sports media professionalism.
Before embarking on your journey of reading all the outstanding pieces by great sports media personalities, you should first ask yourself some questions. These include:
- Who’s better than who in the sports media industry?
- Why should they be regarded as better?
- What do they normally do and what could you get to learn from them?
Such questions will serve to set your mind into a better perspective of what you should keep an eye out for in the sports media pieces you will read. By answering these questions after everything you read, you eventually find yourself being able to both appreciate and absorb various techniques and styles from the greatest writers.
This not only assists in influencing your styles of writing, but it also counts in helping your development of an eye for an excellent story. In addition to this, you are able to filter out the newsworthy, juicy bits of the story and can figure out the best way to engage in its pursuit.
Get the Skills
More often than not, you find that the knowledge and skills that are involved in journalism are similar to the ones for sports journalism. However, it is worth noting that out of the many genres of journalism, sports has among the highest rates of getting sued. This is chiefly due to the fact that most sports chairmen have huge sums of money and are also serial litigants.
The above information should serve as a wake-up call for you when in the process of getting a leg up in the sports media job. You should be at the best of your game so that you can attract a lot of traffic for the pieces you write, as well as ensure your work is not subject to a lot of suing.
For you to bring the above into actualization, you must find a way to harness the best of sports journalism skills. First of all, you must have the basic, traditional skills set up your sleeve. They are vital in forging the stepping stones that you will use to enable you to leap into greater heights in your sports journalism career. However, as much as they are vital, they will not be resourceful enough in getting your C.V to stand out in the ever-dynamic modern world of sports journalism.
In light of the above, you should be prompted to know that you must put in more efforts in order for you to acquire skills that have more weight than merely the basic ones. Today’s sports journalism requires you to teach yourself extra skills such as search engine optimization among many others. The old skills are useful but are likely to be phased out in the near future.
In a nutshell, you should ensure that you have developed basic skills before you can advance into the new-age skills. Basic skills such as accuracy, diligence, and speed are what you should form the foundation of your sports media skills, then you compliment them with new skills such as the earlier alluded to search engine optimization skills. The process of acquiring this package of basic skills, old skills, and the new skills is all dependent on you. Be it that you taught yourself in a journalism degree or in a post-graduate sports media course, it does not really matter. What is important is that you find a way to have an exceptional mastery of these skills.
Get the Experience
One of the most vital areas that you should consider when breaking into sports journalism is the acquisition of experience as early as possible. This is because, when looking for a job, there is almost nothing as important as the experience that you’ve gathered from the various works you have been involved in.
Having a CV with valid evidence of your great depth of experience in this field is worth more than gold in sports journalism. You could be applying for the same job with people with journalism degrees or even post-graduate degrees in journalism, but as long as you have more working experience, you will always have an edge over them. This is because it shows that you simply have the best motivation that is required for making an impact in the sports media sector, rather than just papers that could be owned by everyone. A good record of experience is what helps you to stand out!
So the question is raised, how do you get experience and you are just beginning to look for a breakthrough in the sports media world? The answer is quite simple, but still effective at many levels. Pick up your sports journalism experience from everywhere and anywhere. Be it writing student papers, or even helping out for free in your local newspaper’s sports section, do whatever it takes to gain some experience.
In addition to this, whichever place you get some working experience, you should give that job 100% of your effort and time lest someone else replaces you and does it for you. It is highly likely that you could end up not getting a job from your first working experiences. This should not deter your will of breaking into the sports media industry, if anything, it is a huge milestone in your journey towards being a sports journalist. In fact, the more you get work experience, the more you end up meeting more people. The more you know people, then the more you are likely you are to get your feet through the right sports media door.
There are many factors surrounding the success of any journalist and even more factors that determine the success of a sports journalist. The technicalities and skills in the field of sports media have been regarded as some of the toughest requirements that a person in the field of journalism could be required to accomplish.
Whether it is true or not, what remains constant is that you cannot just decide to become a sports media journalist one morning and head out immediately expecting to be successful. The tips above are what will assist you in finding your way into the perfect start into a fruitful sports media career.