What Do Sports Journalists Do and How to Become One

The sports industry is one that makes billions of dollars annually. Whether it’s the tickets that sell out for huge sports games at massive venues worldwide, the huge salaries that professional sports players earn, or the money that’s raised by various sports and charitable organizations to get more people into sports and help disadvantaged people pursue their dreams of becoming an athlete, the revenue in the sports industry comes from several different streams and is increasing daily.

Sports journalism is another part of the sports industry that also brings in a massive amount of daily revenue. It’s probably difficult to imagine what it would be like if a massive sporting event happened without some reporting and news coverage of the results and performance. In this industry, sporting events and games, production companies, and publishers play a massive part. And, there is a growing interest in following sports, which has made sports journalism an area of sports that’s only set to grow over time. Sports fans today expect that their favorite games and the results will be made available for them through coverage from a wide range of different media types including magazines, newspapers, radio and TV, and digital and online channels. 

The Role of a Sports Journalist

Getting a sports journalism degree from SBU will allow you to enter a career that gives you the chance to spend your time at work learning more about sports, following your favorite sports teams, and even getting to know the players. Sports journalists are often people who are very passionate about sports since they spend their time learning more about the latest sports games and events and reporting on the biggest and latest news from the industry. Sports journalists report on news from sports teams, players, games, leagues, events, venues, and more. Journalism is extremely important in this industry, to provide the fans with access to all the latest information on sports.

Yes, for lots of people around the world today who follow sports, getting a ticket from platforms like TickPick and watching the game live does make a huge difference. However, for the ones that are not afforded this luxury, sports journalists brings them the real experience to their living rooms. Be it getting the latest news from their favorite sports player or team, being able to watch the highlights reported is one of the main things that they look forward to. Many people today who enjoy sports are very passionate about it, so it’s important to ensure that the latest information is easily available to them through a range of different channels. Sports journalists are responsible for presenting the latest sporting information to the fans using a range of different media types. Some sports journalists may spend their time writing posts and articles about the latest games or player updates for magazines, newspapers, and sporting websites, while others report live from games on TV or radio, or provide highlights for the fans after the game has ended. Sport sports journalists will use social media networks such as Twitter to provide fans with real-time, live updates.

Sports Journalism Types

Today, the world of journalism is significantly changed compared to just a few decades ago. This is largely due to the internet and the fact that more and more people are searching for information online rather than getting their news from reading newspapers or even watching the news on TV. Sports journalism has also changed as a result, with various sub-types of sports journalism available for those who are interested in this career. If you are considering a career in sports journalism, there are various types to consider, which are:


Although traditional print journalism might have been overshadowed by the internet recently, it’s definitely not going anywhere. There is still a lot of room for written words when it comes to reporting on sports, and lots of sports fans still pick up newspapers and magazines to learn more about the games, players, and events. Sports journalists working in this sub-type will often be responsible for columns and articles in the sports sections of newspapers or writing for sports magazine publications that readers pick up to get the latest news, ideas, and opinions of their favorite sports, events, games, and players.


Today, more and more people are turning to the internet as the first place to get their news and updates. There is a growing demand for online journalists for all news topics, including sports news and journalism. These days, the majority of sports fans will check websites, apps, and social media to get the latest updates from sports events, games, leagues, teams, and players. Online sports journalism includes both print and broadcast journalism, covering online articles and posts, along with online videos on YouTube and other social media channels.


Sports broadcasting is a popular type of sports journalism today, with more and more sporting games and events shown live on TV. Sports broadcasters are sports journalists that enjoy high demand. Today, sports fans expect that their favorite games and events are going to be broadcast, and the industry has a need for people who can comment on and report on games as they happen live. In the world of sports broadcasting, you will have the opportunity to work with the latest technologies to make sure that sports fans are always provided with the best listening or viewing experience as they keep up to date with the latest news and stories from sports.

How to Get Into a Sports Journalism Career

If you are interested in and passionate about sports and like the idea of working in a career that allows you to spend your time reporting on sports teams, players, games, and events that get you excited, working as a sports journalist might be a great fit for you. This is what you’ll need to get into a career as a sports journalist:

Earn a Degree

To work as a sports journalist, you will usually need to get a degree in a relevant field. A bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, broadcasting, general journalism, or communications is a great place to start, along with degree majors in the English language. A degree program that focuses on providing a curriculum that focuses on developing the skills and knowledge you will need as a journalist specifically is often the best choice since these types of programs will fully prepare you for getting started in this career.

When choosing a degree program to get your sports journalism career started, look for one that is designed to enable you to develop all the necessary skills that you are going to need to work on as a journalist, including writing skills, research skills, critical thinking, and everything in between. A journalism bachelor’s degree will usually involve assignments that include working in online journalism, reporting principles, conducting interviews, and the ethics of working as a journalist. You may want to consider a journalism degree that covers all aspects of this role including sports journalism, online, broadcast, investigative, and entertainment journalism if you’re interested in learning more about journalism roles or opt for a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism if you want to focus solely on this type of reporting and are sure that it’s what you want to do.

Get Work Experience

A sports journalist will usually be required to have gained some work experience, so don’t wait until you have graduated before you start looking for work. As a student, it is a wise idea to take any opportunity that is available to you to get work experience throughout your degree program. Internships are an ideal way to do this since they give you the chance to gain experience of working in the field of journalism and the opportunity to work alongside experienced journalists in a range of different settings. Getting in touch with local sports teams, sports media outlets, sports organizations, and sports publications to ask for work experience is a good idea if you are interested in a future sports journalism career. You can also get experience through writing for college publications, which can be a great way to get some work published and start building your portfolio as early as possible while practicing your new skills.

Develop a Portfolio

While getting your degree, it’s worth considering any ways that you can get started with developing your journalism portfolio as early as possible. Most of the time, employers will only consider hiring a sports journalist if they are able to see a portfolio of their past work, so don’t wait until after you have graduated to build a portfolio that you can use to demonstrate your skills to future employers. There are various ways that you can do this, from writing for college magazines and newspapers, taking on internships, freelancing as a student journalist, or even starting your own blog. Your own website or blog that focuses on sports can be an ideal way to show off your work and build a strong portfolio by the time you graduate since you can add to this whenever you like and write about whatever you like, making it a great addition to any other work that you manage to get while studying.

Continuing Education

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that while a bachelor’s degree is enough to get you started in a sports journalism career, there are many benefits to taking your education and your career further with a more advanced journalism qualification. A master’s degree in journalism, for example, will allow you to learn even further skills and take your career to the next level with a qualification that helps you set yourself apart from your competition in the job market. And, studying as a graduate will provide you with even more opportunities to write for college publications, get work experience and internships, and build up more relevant experience that will ultimately be beneficial to your journalism career.

Skills You Need to Be a Successful Sports Journalist

If you are interested in a career in sports journalism, it’s important to understand the qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to be successful. Sports journalists are responsible for providing content about players, teams, athletes, and events for a range of different news and sports platforms. Since journalism in general can be a very highly competitive field, it’s important for those who want to get into sports journalism to focus on identifying and developing the most important skills that will help you stand out from the competition and allow you to make a name for yourself in this industry.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills are often the first that any aspiring sports journalist must develop. Your communication skills are key to making sure that the latest news and information from the sporting world is presented to the fans in a way that is clear, concise, and easy for them to understand. Along with this, another important skill for any journalist to have is the ability to remain objective and keep their own personal opinions out of the equation. It’s likely that as a sports journalist you’re going to have your own favorite teams and players, but you will need to report on everything fairly, regardless of whether or not you are personally a supporter.

Sports journalists also need to develop a lot of persistence and dedication. It’s not always easy to make sure that you are reporting on the best stories, and you may need to be persistent in your research and finding out things to make sure that you’re providing as much information as possible to the fans. In this role, you’ll also need to be skilled with technology, including word processing, managing databases, and using social media. Journalists also need to be able to thrive under pressure since the environment that they work in can often be high-stress with tight deadlines to meet.

Today, everybody wants the latest news from their favorite sports personalities, teams, and games, and sports journalism has become a hugely important part of the sporting industry. If you like the idea of a career where you can put your passion for sports to good use, sports journalism could be ideal for you.