As sports journalism opportunities continue to increase at a rapid pace, more and more colleges and universities are offering related courses as part of their journalism programs. Educational institutions offer sports journalism courses that delve into theory and practice and cover skills such as reporting, writing, broadcasting, editing, communication, public relations and roles across all media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online media).
Of course, sports journalism classes depend on the school you are attending and whether you are taking an undergraduate degree or a Masters. But generally, as follows are courses common to most sports journalism concentrations. Consult our list of journalism schools to find sports journalism courses that fit your career goals and educational plans.
Common Undergraduate (Bachelors) Sports Journalism Courses
- Sports Writing and Reporting: You will learn hands-on how to write and report for newspapers, magazines and online media; you will practice conducting and writing various styles such as features, news articles, interviews, profiles, statistics, beat reports and others while examining the associated legal and ethical issues.
- Sports, Media and Society: You will examine how sports have an impact on society and how the media plays a role in this relationship. You may examine the history of sports journalism and also look at the cultural implications of sports media.
- Sports Broadcasting: You will learn how to write and report for television and radio broadcasts, but also the technical aspects to producing each type of show.
- Sports Information: You will learn the ins and outs of how a sports information office (sports media relation office) runs and gain hands-on experience with these operations.
- Sports Public Relations: You will learn about various successful techniques used in sports marketing, public relations or communications. You will learn how to prepare promotional materials to represent amateur or professional teams, sporting events or venues and how to network with relevant stakeholders.
Common Graduate (Masters) Sports Journalism Courses
Masters level sports journalism classes are naturally more advanced. They often allow you to specialize in a particular area of sports journalism, advance your career and/or enter the fields of research, producing/directing or teaching.
Along with advanced classes in journalistic techniques, such as sports reporting and broadcasting, examples of Masters Sports Journalism Courses include:
- Online Sports Journalism: You will learn how to write and report in a manner attractive to online audiences and how to set up your own sports news/commentary website.
- Business and Sports Media: You will study the evolution of sports media from traditional forms to online sources, networks and other multimedia formats. You will also learn how sports media plays a role in financing the sports industry.
- Broadcast Production: You will get hands-on experience learning how to be an editor, producer and director of sportscasts.
- Public Affairs: In this seminar style course, you will discuss political and social issues at national, state and local levels and how they pertain to the sports and entertainment industry.
- Coverage of Athletes/Sports Events: You will learn the difference between covering amateur and professional athletes and sporting events (such as games and conferences). You will also learn the techniques in covering these and how to enter a position that involves these techniques.
As part of a sports journalism degree, you will also be required to take some general Faculty (usually Arts) and Journalism classes. These normally include English composition or literature, history, psychology, public speaking, media law, media ethics, introduction to the various forms of media, computer applications, communications, advertising or other similar classes.