Sports journalists are highly professional individuals who have to understand virtually every element of society. That is because, nowadays, sports is about a lot more than simply playing and enjoying a game. According to Michael Volitich, it is about media, advertising, budgets, infrastructure, psychology, health, culture, and more. Indeed, becoming a sports journalist is a very serious career that requires a lot of planning and preparation. And one of the most important things is that sports journalists have to read.
Michael Volitich on Reading
A good sports journalist reads everything. They must also watch the television and listen to the radio and must do all of this with a professional eye. Sports writers must effectively devour the work of any other sports writer that is out there in order to find inspiration and to understand what works and what does not work. This is true for all journalists but perhaps even more so for those in the world of sports because it has such a global impact. A good prospect of sports journalist will have to find out what it is the existing journalist do that works. They must also learn to understand why that works and what lessons can therefore be learnt. There are thousands of sports journalists around the world and a prospective one must figure out why some of them are better at what they do than others.
Reading also allows a prospective sports journalist to be exposed to different writing techniques and writing styles. This can help influence their own structure and style, and ensuring they are relevant and that people enjoy reading there reports. Not just that, reading the stories that have already been written by others ensures that prospective journalists learn how to pick up a potential story, understanding what is and what is not newsworthy, and how to go after that story.
Of course, nobody will become a sports journalist by reading alone. They must also acquire journalistic skills, which is best done through a proper academic degree. Sports journalism degrees have a foundation in regular journalism and it is very important to emphasize these skills. For instance, students will learn about shorthand and about media laws and ethics, which are skills and knowledge that are relevant regardless of whether someone is a lifestyle journalist, a political journalist, or a sports journalist.
At the same time, by reading whatever material is available, prospective sports journalists can also teach themselves to become better at what they do. For instance, some of the things that are usually not covered during your degree are things like search engine optimization, website design, online layouts, and more. The degree program focuses on hard work, diligence, accuracy, and speed, all of which are vital, but it often does not go into the minutiae of being a sports journalist in the modern world.
Being a sports journalist requires hard work and dedication and it means keeping skills relevant and up to date. Life is one long learning journey and the sports journalist in particularly must always keep their knowledge relevant and up to date.