How to Get Into Sports Journalism

How to Get Into Sports Journalism

If you are passionate about sports and want to share your passion with the world, you may regularly dream about the possibilities that becoming a sports journalist would offer you, as this is a career that will allow you to constantly write about the industry that you love, and report on the biggest sporting events around the world. As such, if you live and breathe sports and want to spend your time writing about sporting events and stars, here are some of the top steps that you should take to get into the sports journalism career path of your dreams. 

Although there are many different ways to get into sports journalism, and not all of these are through academic avenues, taking a qualification in sports journalism can be one of the simplest and most direct paths, especially for those who do not have experience or connections. Even if you want to go freelance or opt for another less traditional career path, it is still recommended that you take a qualification before doing this. Taking a sports journalism qualification will ensure that you do not get thrown into the deep end and will allow you to slowly build up your skillset and knowledge when it comes to journalism and sports. It can also ensure that you have a good idea of the industry that you are about to leap into and that you will be able to show how serious you are about this career path. 

Although sports journalism qualifications might not have previously been on your radar, there are many sports journalism degrees and courses out there, with many universities now offering them. Not only this, but it is also possible to take a sports journalism degree online, which can be the perfect option for those who are already in the middle of their career, who have other commitments, or who do not want to give up their day job just yet. As such, you should consider searching and applying for a sports journalism degree that can teach you everything that you need to know and that can ensure that you are already making some progress toward your end goal of becoming a sports journalist. Click here to find out what taking a sports journalism degree online can do for you and your future career. 

  • Start a Blog 

You do not have to wait for anyone to tell you that you are a journalist, and you can simply decide for yourself that you are ready to start writing about the sports that you are passionate about. Instead of waiting to get a job in the field, you should instead exercise your writing ability and practice your skills by setting up a sports blog. Not only can this give you the opportunity to hone your craft in your own time, but it can also allow you to gain the experience that you might need for your resumé. Starting a blog can allow you to have a ready-made portfolio by your side that you can show potential employers, and this will also enable you to enjoy the pastime that you love- sports journalism- even if you are not getting paid for it. Although it can be difficult to start up a professional-looking blog by yourself, website builders such as WordPress are excellent tools that can allow you to choose from pre-made themes and can ensure that you can set up your blog in mere moments. 

  • Speak to Other Sports Journalists

Instead of isolating yourself or believing that other professionals will not want to talk to you about your aspirations and your passion for sports, you should put yourself out there and speak to as many other sports journalists as possible. By talking to them, you may be able to decipher whether this is a role that you will enjoy and thrive in. This is because they will be able to give you insight into the industry and what a day in the life of a sports journalist looks like. They will also be able to give you tips and guidance on the next steps that you need to take and will be able to tell you of any opportunities that they have heard about for those starting out within the industry. Talking to other sports journalists will also get you used to chatting to strangers and networking and building connections with people who could be important to your career progression and your job. As such, you should attend networking events and join digital groups and forums that will allow you to connect with other people who have the career that you want most. 

  • Attend Sporting Events 

Although televisions have made it possible to report on events from the comfort of your own home, attending sporting events is one of the best ways that you can get to grips with sports journalism and what it entails. By attending sporting events, you will be able to grasp what is going on within the sporting world, and you will be able to start gaining inspiration for interesting articles and reports that could put you in high demand with employers. As such, you should attend as many events as possible in a wide range of different sporting categories. These events can also be a way to get to know the people working in the industry, as these events will likely be one of the only times when they will all be in one place. 

  • Submit Articles

Rather than keeping all of your articles to yourself, you should try to submit these to different journals often. Many journals and online blogs allow you to submit articles for publication whether they know your name or not. Even if these do not get published the first time, this will give you practice in writing to certain industry standards and guidelines, and this will also encourage you to proofread your work and increase the quality of the work that you are producing. As such, you should not be shy about submitting work to different journals for publication. If your work is published, this can help you to get your name known and can allow you to start building up a working relationship with different magazines and sporting companies. To find out whether they are open to receiving submissions, you should look at the journal’s menu or the bottom of their page. You might also consider contacting them and enquiring about their position on submissions directly with an example of your work. However, you should be prepared to get no response from this. 

  • Look at What is Being Published

How will you know the type of articles that are being published without reading them yourself? As such, instead of simply working in a vacuum and taking no notice of the industry around you, it is important that you keep up with what is popular at the moment and that you try and engage with a variety of different styles in sports journalism. You might then be able to find writing tricks that you love and others that you want to avoid. To do this, you should follow many of the top sporting blogs and journals on social media, and set alerts for their websites to ensure that you never miss anything. You should invest in subscriptions to certain magazines, and make sure that you are consuming a wide range of different materials. This will then influence your style and ensure that you know what creates marketable and engaging articles and copy. 

  • Go Freelance 

Although it can be difficult to find a permanent position in sports journalism, anyone can go freelance and start to get short-term jobs and projects that can enable them to build up their repertoire. As such, instead of constantly scouring job websites such as Indeed, you should look at freelance job websites, such as Freelancer, and make connections that will enable you to be completely self-employed. This will then ensure that you do not have to rely on a lengthy recruitment process to be selected as the best candidate, and that you will be able to have more freedom over the projects that you take on. However, you will need to be resilient if you choose this path, as you will need to be constantly looking for work and pitching the type of articles that you want to produce. This means that you will need great verbal communication skills and a thick skin to stop yourself from losing your confidence in yourself and your dreams. 

Sports journalism is a dream job for many people, but it can be an extremely difficult industry to crack. Luckily, there are many steps that you can take to make your chances of succeeding in sports journalism much higher, from taking an online degree to starting your own blog. As such, by following some of the steps in this guide, you will soon be able to advance your career and ensure that you can look forward to going to work each day.