About Sports Journalism Jobs
Sports are not just about the sporting event. Preparations take place months before the main event, and once it’s over, fans continue to discuss and follow their favorite teams or athletes. Sports journalism has a tremendous impact on the way we consume sports news. People with sports journalism jobs play a crucial role as they create content that entices fans to follow sporting events, athletes, and other related news.
The digital era took its toll on the journalism industry, which is best evidenced in the sales decline of print media. However, sports broadcast journalism jobs continued to thrive and managed to adapt to digital and social media platforms very well. For that reason, it’s a field of journalism with many career opportunities. So let’s dig in and see what it’s all about!
What Do Sports Journalists Do?
Sports reporter/journalism jobs involve all the tasks other journalists do, with the subject matter being the only difference. However, there’s much more to their jobs. You can think of sports journalists as “middlemen” between the incredibly entertaining sports industry and sports enthusiasts. The same goes for both local and global sporting events. Whether you’re looking for sports journalism jobs in the UK, Canada, USA, or some other country, you’ll see that national sports can be equally exciting to cover.
A sports journalist’s main task is to engage viewers and give precise information backed up with research. Besides that, every sportswriter has specific duties depending on the role. They can range from reporting on game statistics to interviewing athletes and coaches and doing game commentary.
If sports journalists work for a media company, they have to report to editors. It’s a bit different with digital sports journalism jobs. A journalist can still report to editors and rely on them for the assignment, but freelancers have more freedom in terms of pieces they want to write.
Types of Sports Journalism Jobs
There are several types of jobs associated with sports journalism, and they don’t necessarily involve writing and reporting. Sports journalists can have careers in the PR industry or work as consultants for companies that make sporting goods. However, most sports journalists write and report on specific sporting events.
If you’re looking for jobs with an associate’s degree in sports journalism, you’ll likely be an assistant first, but it’s a good idea to know what to expect and where your starting position might take you in the future. Here are the most common jobs at present.
Straight-Lead Game Sports Journalism
This is a typical writing assignment that a sportswriter can get. Straight-lead game reporting is pretty straightforward. Usually, the article is about game highlights, final scores, and star players. This kind of reporting is very characteristic of college sports journalism jobs.
Writing a sports feature is the dream of every sportswriter reporting on professional sports. Perhaps, it can be viewed as one of the most exciting jobs for sports journalism. The main point of this article is to give readers a completely different angle on the event they saw on TV. For sportswriters, this is the opportunity to showcase their talent and writing skills. Writing a sports feature is like writing a story containing facts and real numbers.
Jobs in sports journalism can often include writing about famous or emerging athletes, couches, or sports managers. These are long-form articles and require a sports journalist who’s a bit more experienced and gets the kind of content readers want. For this sort of task, a journalist has to dig deeper and give readers an insight into the personal life and aspirations of the person they’re writing about.
It’s not uncommon for sportswriters to spend a couple of days with athletes, following them around, making notes about their training seasons, and doing interviews with them. Women are becoming more involved in professional sports with large audiences, so writing profiles is often a part of the women sports journalism jobs.
Imagine being able to put every heated sports-related discussion you had with someone in an article! Columns are free-form pieces based on the writer’s opinion. Of course, that doesn’t mean they get to babble endlessly. Columnists have to be incredibly knowledgeable about a topic and give readers a fresh perspective.
Writing columns is usually not a part of entry-level sports journalism jobs, but thanks to social media, more and more emerging writers manage to build their audience. Columns can be informative or controversial, but above all, they have to be enticing.
Online Sports Journalism Jobs
It’s no longer necessary for writers to work in-house because online jobs are flourishing. These jobs include a range of writing assignments, from news to blog and social media posts. Since you’ll be working online, your job may fall into the category of international sports journalism jobs. You’ll either work for a media company publishing sports stories or as a freelance writer who builds a portfolio through different writing assignments.
Multimedia Sports Journalism Jobs
Every sports journalist should know the basics of current multimedia trends and editing in journalism—photography, videography, graphic design, and social media content curation. However, multimedia sports journalists are more than just good at the majority of these. They publish and manage their content on several platforms simultaneously. In doing so, they use their multimedia skills to create highly engaging content.
A sports journalist’s work environment is quite exciting. They often have to attend sporting events to report on them, which can also include some traveling. Even if you end up working in an office, you’re still in for some exciting times, especially if you work in the broadcasting industry.
Injuries and Illnesses
Sports journalism jobs are not the kind of jobs where employees are prone to injuries and illnesses. At most, you might develop injuries that many writers who spend long hours in front of the computer have, like back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.
Currently, illnesses most often associated with journalism are mental illnesses, which can result from occupational burnout. Many journalists are dealing with hectic work schedules and pressing deadlines that can, in the long run, cause mental health deterioration. If you’re wondering what jobs to get with a sports journalism degree, it’s important to take care of yourself first and have a good work-life balance.
Your work schedule will depend on the type of employment, but people with a sports journalism career generally have flexible work schedules. If you work for a media company, you’ll probably have an office and work regular office hours, except when you have a deadline.
In the case of remote work, you might be working fixed hours or have a flexible work schedule. This will mostly depend on your employer. If you’re a freelance sportswriter, your work schedule will entirely depend on you. Of course, if you’ve just landed one of the sports journalism trainee jobs, your work schedule might be a bit more hectic compared to your senior colleagues.
How to Become a Sports Journalist?
Sports journalism is a fast-growing industry that shows no signs of stopping. To be a successful sportswriter, you’ll need a combination of passion, skills, and resourcefulness. As you probably know, it’s a bit easier to get sports broadcasting jobs with a minor in journalism, but it’s not a must. Let’s see what skills you need to be a sports journalist.
It’s not necessary to play sports to seek jobs as a sportswriter. You need to be passionate about sports and have solid writing skills. Sports journalism is all about topical reporting, meaning that the sports industry is a niche you need to know inside out.
Besides requirements for sports journalism jobs, you should know how sports fandom works. You have to cater to your readers’ needs. This is perhaps the best quality you can bring to the table—successfully engaging fans of sports you plan to write about by demonstrating your passion and knowledge of the industry through writing.
So let’s see what you’ll need education-wise to land one of the sports journalism major jobs. When it comes to formal education, most sports journalists have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication or a related field. However, a master’s degree is becoming a standard for more demanding jobs in journalism. Still, it doesn’t mean that a degree in journalism or a related field is an absolute must.
Many journalists, especially online writers, find jobs regardless of their formal educational background. Sports journalism jobs without a degree mostly involve content writing, online news writing, social media content creation, etc. In that regard, it’s all about passion and your writing skills.
To start your search for jobs with a sports journalism degree, you’ll need additional skills, even more so if your degree is not related to sports or journalism. Writing talent, impeccable grammar, and research skills are a must. You’ll also need a basic knowledge of multimedia, including video and photo editing, graphic design, and social media marketing. Of course, entry-level sports journalism jobs usually don’t require these skills, but you’ll still need to demonstrate a willingness to work on them in the future.
Depending on your skills and performance, you can be promoted to a senior writer, assistant editor, or feature editor. Of course, all of these come with a substantial pay raise. If you’re starting off as a freelancer, your career advancement will be different. It’ll depend on the number of jobs you manage to land and the prices you set. In general, advancement in sports media jobs comes down to the willingness to work hard.
The world of professional sports is big business. Competitive sports alone generate $250 billion annually. The spectator sports sector generates almost half of this sum. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that sports journalism is booming as well. This will also reflect on your career advancement, but it may take a while before landing one of the best sports journalism jobs. Currently, sports journalism is perhaps the most paid niche in journalism.
However, entry-level positions in sports journalism are paid a bit less than the national average. Still, sports journalists advance faster and earn more. Jobs in sports journalism will bring you a salary of $48,689 on average, but it can go up to $130,000.
Currently, there are 11,700 sportswriters in the USA. The job outlook for sportswriters and journalists is rather positive. By 2026, the sportswriter job market is expected to grow by 3.4%. Compared to reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts, this is a significant increase since their employment is expected to decline by 11% by 2029. It’s safe to say that sports journalism jobs in the USA are here to stay.
Sports journalism careers are a solid option for writers who are knowledgeable and passionate about the sports industry. Even though these jobs are not in high demand, sports writing is a good career choice. However, as the newspaper industry continues to shrink, prospects are not that good for sports newspaper journalism jobs.
Sportswriting is not just another nine-to-five job, so you need to have the drive and passion. If you’re enthusiastic about what you do, there’s no better way to secure a high paying job in sports journalism.
What can I do with a sports journalism degree?
If you’re wondering what jobs you can get with a sports journalism degree, fear not because there are many choices. Most people decide to become sports news writers, but you can also look for jobs as a social media executive, PR specialist, content strategist and creator, press officer, or radio and TV host. More and more people with a sports journalism degree have a side job like blogging, podcasting, etc., so that’s an excellent way to make extra income.
How much does a sports journalist make a year?
Like with any job, entry-level positions are paid less, especially if you’re looking for sports journalism part-time jobs. The average yearly salary for sports journalists is $48,698. However, keep in mind that sports journalists can build big audiences and become famous hosts and opinion makers. For that reason, the average journalist salary can go up to $130,000 per year.
What qualifications do you need to be a football journalist?
Football journalism is one of many jobs for sports journalism majors. To become a football journalist, you’ll most likely need a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication or a similar degree, most likely in the field of social sciences and humanities.
A master’s degree has become a standard requirement, but it’s not obligatory. Nonetheless, it would be a good idea to first start looking for sports journalism online jobs. Apart from formal education, you’ll need to have a standout portfolio to demonstrate your knowledge and passion for football.
What is the role of a sports journalist?
A sports journalist is the connection between sporting events and sports enthusiasts. People with sports journalism jobs provide readers with accurate information and exciting stories. They write about local and global sporting events, do interviews with athletes and coaches, and report on scores and statistics.
How do I start a career in sports broadcasting?
If you want to start a career in sports broadcasting, your first step is to look for sports journalism internships jobs. An internship can be a great way to get familiar with the ins and outs of the industry, prove yourself, and eventually get a paid position. Make sure you don’t rely solely on broadcast journalism. Before looking for internships, it’s a good idea to have a portfolio. Blogs, websites, and social media are your best friends when it comes to boosting your career.
Do sports journalists travel?
They often do, but it depends on specific tasks. As this review of sports journalism jobs has shown, jobs in sports journalism might entail extensive travel if you have to write about global sporting events. But if you’re supposed to cover local sports, you won’t need to travel at all. The same goes for remote and freelance sportswriters.