Jitin Chawla(Career Counsellor)

SPORTING THE JOURNALIST

The future of the Indian sports industry seems very bright. Along with the existing league expanding, sports brands industry India will be hosting some of the biggest Sports Tournaments in world-FIFA U17 Football World Cup in 2017, Hockey World Cup in 2018 etc., thus, making the best opportunities available to the Sports Managers of the Country. Our career expert Jitin Chawla on sports journalism

The success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has spawned numerous similar league competitions across many sports such as Football, Hockey, Kabaddi, Golf, Badminton, Tennis, mixed Martial Arts, Cycling, Wrestling and so on. These leagues have presented new investors, more spectators, and higher revenues. This, in turn, has unlocked career opportunities with specialized skills and knowledge in sports, which are at par with other industries.

If you have strong writing skills and equal fervor for sports, then you can become a journalist for the sports. Responsibility of handling sports desk is challenging, contrary to what the name suggests there is a lot of traveling involved in this job. Along with traveling, come strict deadlines and it may require working during weekends, as well.

Sports journalists inform and entertain people about all the happenings in the realm of sports. This can be done by writing for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Additionally, they may present sports related news on a TV channel. This may often involve a great deal of research and keeping up with current events. A sports writer not only has to attend sporting events to keep current with what is going on, but they must also meet with clients or team members as well.

But still a lot needs to be done in this field. It is disappointing to note that there are not enough good sports magazines in Indian languages. A couple of English sports magazines (Sportstar, Diamond Cricket Today) are available in the market, which cater to the need of limited sports fans; many sports loving people who are not comfortable with the English language don’t enjoy this privilege.

Today, it is a rewarding vocation, which requires talented and skilled sports media professionals. To be a sport journalist you need to know inside out of your subject and have a passion to make a mark in this vocation. It also demands lot of hard work and onus. However, rewards are lucrative, a sport journalist gets box seats at the games, meets internationals sports star, gets lot of exposure while travelling from one country to another, getting to know the people who train Olympic/International athletes, and fame & appreciations from the readers and fans.

Today, Internet has become an important part of sports journalism. Almost all journalists have to start from ground zero. So, if you are an aspiring journalist, you can start with your own blogs on your favourite team or particular sport. This helps you to build up your portfolio of self-published clips and if any sports organisation finds your blog interesting then you could also get a chance to work with them.

Today, sports journalism has turned into long form writing, it also produces popular books on sports which include biographies, history and investigations. Many Western countries have their own national association of sports journalists. In India, there has been recent growth in sports journalism. The sports column in various leading newspapers are widely popular among readers. Indians today not just appreciate cricket but they have also understood the importance of other sports also like football, hockey, wrestling, boxing etc.

You can go for a degree in sports journalism which could enhance your writing and reporting skills and also trains you efficiently in the areas of sports. You would learn to write technical details about a sport in a simple manner. One could also opt for journalism and match reporting course which deals with going to sport games, sporting events, and venues, meeting with players then reporting all this to sports crazy audience.

The career opportunities in sports journalism are – match reporter, freelance sports journalist and sports writer. You would get to work in newspaper, radio, TV, magazines and online journalism.

Harsh Bhogle and Ravi Shastri are precedents of the communications aspect in the field of Sports making it one of the key and popular occupations of the business.

The emergence of League competitions such as IPL, ISL and the Indian Badminton League (IBL), among others, has created abundant career opportunities.

Those endowed with communication skills can gainfully find avenues to practice the art as commentators, journalists, anchors, etc.
Rapid growth of platforms in medium of newspapers and magazines has created interest in sports journalism, evolving it as a highly paid profession


Role of Sports Journalists

1. Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news.
2. Write articles for newspapers, blogs, and magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio.
3. Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them.

Skills of Sports Journalists

1. Communication skills: Journalists require excellent communication skills to be able to report the news both verbally and in writing.
2. Impartiality: Journalists need to report the facts of the news impartially and without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.
3. People skills: Sports Journalists also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors besides they develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters thus need good people skills.
4. Persistence: Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.
5. Stamina: The work of journalists is often fast paced, and the hours can be long and exhausting. Reporters need to be able to keep up with the long hours.
6. One might be having any background in XI & XII but humanities/arts is a preferred subject area and the entrance tests include questions from media based G.K/GK, English and reasoning. Some Universities have a creative test also, where one needs to design advertisements, write radio script etc., followed by GD & Interview.

UG/PG in Journalism & Mass Communication: Indian Institute of Mass Communication; Banaras Hindu University; Jamia Millia Islamia; Delhi University – South Campus; IP University – Delhi; Foreign Language University; Central University; Makhanlal Chaturvedi University; Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya – Indore; St. Xaviers – Bombay; Symbiosis – Pune; Pune University – Pune; FTII-Pune; School of Broadcasting – Mumbai; Indira School Of Mass Communication-Pune; Asian School of journalism – Chennai.

If you don’t get into the above college than go for Courses run by Media Institutes NDTV Media Institute, India Today Media Institute, Express Institute Of Media Studies, Times schools of Journalism, Manorama School of Journalism-Kerala.

Sport Journalism is offered by universities like Indiana University, Purdue University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University & Michigan State University, among others.

September-2016