Sports Journalism Careers

Many journalists tend to gravitate towards one or two areas of specialty. For those who are fans of watching amateur, university and professional games, who are intrigued with the lifestyle of disciplined athletes or actively play a sport themselves, they might gravitate towards sports journalism.

A variety of sports journalism careers exist. Perhaps you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera; maybe you like asking questions, interviewing people or effectively stringing phrases together to form a captivating text, taking the reader back to pivotal moments in the game.  A sports journalism career is sure to be an exhilarating one.

Sports Journalist Jobs

Sports journalist jobs vary across media, roles and content. Some sports journalists stick with one employer, and thus one form of media, while others freelance, covering various sports and writing and reporting for print, broadcast and/or online milieus. Some sports journalists are solely responsible for covering one professional sports team, whereas others may produce stories on a variety of local, university and/or professional teams and events. Some sports journalism jobs focus on interviewing and profiling athletes, while others focus on game/tournament highlights and results. A sports journalist career may also transition into a public relations role for a university or professional team, which involves marketing/advertising and communication skills along with journalistic abilities.

Examples of sports journalist jobs include:

  • Sports writers/reporters for print media (including newspapers and magazines)
  • Sports editors for print media (including newspapers and magazines)
  • Hosts of radio or television sports shows
  • Sports announcers/commentators for radio or television
  • Sports writers/reporters for television or radio broadcasts
  • Producers or directors of television or radio sports shows
  • Online writers/reporters for sports websites, e-magazines or e-newspapers
  • Online editors for sports websites, e-magazines or e-newspapers
  • Sports information specialists
  • Media Representative for sports teams, associations or major venues

Degree Requirements for Sports Journalism Careers

Generally, before starting a sports journalism career, employers require you have a journalism degree and/or previous, related experience. By pursuing a sports journalism degree, you will not only learn theoretical and practical wisdom that is relevant to your future career; you will also almost always have the opportunity to complete one or more Internships. If you are interested in sports journalism jobs, pursue a Bachelors degree with a major, minor or specialization in sports journalism and apply for an Internship in the sports department of one or more media. (You could also complete an internship for a professional sports team, venue or sports association). If you already have an undergraduate or general journalism degree, you have the option of upgrading your education and completing a Masters in Sports Journalism. Check out our list of online and campus schools for information on sports journalism programs.

What’s the Difference between a Sports Commentator and a Sports Journalist?

Sports commentators may also be called sports announcers or sportscasters. They generally read a script on a television or radio broadcast, or provide commentary, such as play-by-play, during a live game. While the role of a sports commentator is an example of a sports journalism career, it is just one of several potential occupations for those who graduate with a sports journalism degree. For example, a sports journalist may also research and write the text that the sports commentator reads on the air.

How Do Sports Journalism Careers Relate to Other Journalism Careers?

The skills you will acquire and practice as a sports journalist relate to other forms of journalism. If you decide you would like to cover other types of events from time, or are called on to do so by your boss or freelance demands, realize you may be more prepared than you think. Here are some examples of other journalism career options and skills that you may have the chance to practice with some mentored guidance:

  • Photojournalist
  • Arts & Entertainment Reporter
  • News Reporter
  • Editor
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Investigative Journalist
  • Non-fiction Author