If you love writing and sports, becoming a sports writer may be a good career choice for you. It may not be the career for everyone because it requires long hours of hard work, filing stories after evening games, interviewing players and coaches, and working on-demand around season schedules. You may spend hours on the road away from home. For those with a passion for football and writing, it can be a very rewarding and enjoyable career. Here are some tips on how to become a football journalist.
Know what’s expected
Some of your responsibilities as a football journalist may include the following.
- Attending sporting events, including traveling to away games.
- Filing weekly stories on the team you cover.
- Attending coach conferences and practices when the media are invited.
- Interviewing and writing in-depth features on football players.
- Building a following on social media to interact with readers and offer game analyses and insights.
- Recording podcasts and capturing photos and videos may also be required.
Build your writing skills
Developing your writing skills may be more difficult than you imagine, and you should start from the time you know football journalism is a career you would like to pursue. You could consider taking introductory journalism classes while you’re still in high school.
Ask if you could cover the school sports team football games for your school newspaper. This is a way to gain some experience and find out if this is the career you truly want to pursue.
Use a free plagiarism tool
Any journalist, including sports journalists, can’t afford to take the risk of plagiarism. It is considered to be one of the primary sins. You cannot take other people’s work and present it as your own. As a media writer, you have a responsibility to check your text and make sure it is free of plagiarism. When it’s about the best tools, fixgerald.com is a free tool you can use as a plagiarism detector. Using a plagiarism checker enables you to make sure your work is unique.
Pursue a journalism degree in college
You should attend a college that offers degrees in journalism but also has a football program. This will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in studying journalism and put what you learn into practice in reporting on college football games.
If you cover the games, you will be seated with other press and get a taste of their professionalism and what’s expected from you. At the college level, you can start making the connections that will help you as an aspiring football journalist.
Get an internship
If you want to be a football journalist, you need to do everything you can to get an internship. Your school of journalism may have partnerships with institutions that offer internships, so find out more about these. You could intern at a local or regional newspaper or the sports department of a local or regional T.V. station.
Some internships are paid or but a number of them are unpaid. You shouldn’t turn one down, even if it is unpaid. The experience you gain could really help you after you graduate and start looking for a job. Your practical experience will be just as important to future employers as your journalism degree.
Apply for jobs
Once you’ve graduated with a degree in journalism, you can start applying for jobs in a variety of media, such as print, radio or television. You’re unlikely to start by covering top football teams, and it will take time before you’re ready for that.
Beats at a local newspaper or a local outlet covering high school sports may be where you can start cutting your teeth. Your salary as a football journalist will depend on various factors, such as whether you work for a local or national organization and what level of football you cover. As you gain crucial experience, other more high-profile opportunities will start coming your way, and you will be able to earn more.
Football journalists have to do match reports, interview players and managers, be active on social media and much more. It may seem like an envious and glamorous profession, but the industry can be tough and demanding. Your ability to engage with players and fans on many different platforms will be as important as your knowledge of the game and writing skills. Developing all the different skills you need takes time, and you will need persistence to be successful and get to the top of your career.
Cory Shilling believes that there’s no goal that’s difficult to achieve, and hard work and dedication can make even the most complex things easy. This mantra has meant a lot of success for him as a writer and editor who is always ready to train and guide college students who need the necessary skills to write and edit perfectly.