Working for a sports property, such as a team, league, or governing body, also provides a great way to develop writing skills and break into sports media. Such properties often publish their own online and print magazines and newsletters featuring articles and profiles of athletes and events surrounding their respective sports. These writers and reporters for online media outlets operate similarly to traditional print media journalists. For example, MLB.com employs its own cadre of journalists that cover a specific team. Since MLB.com is strictly an Internet site, the articles are published immediately after submittal, whereas newspaper journalists’ work does not go live until the next morning in the paper.
A starting point for a sports property is the public or media relations department, where writing press releases and media notes helps develop writing skills catered specifically to the sport. In addition, these roles help writers build professional relationships with working media personnel as well as the athletes being covered. Interacting with outside media on a daily basis furthers networking skills and should an opening ever come about at one of these newspapers or magazines, you already have a working relationship with someone who can provide an internal recommendation.
Once a salaried position in the publications department is secured, the journalistic demands can often be trying because of the propensity for lean staffing amongst sports properties. Therefore, these positions often require simultaneously working on multiple stories with tight deadlines at times. However, one benefit that many of these writers appreciate is greater access to athletes. While outside media may only speak with athletes during designated media times, exceptions are often made to internal employees working for the property. One drawback to these positions, however, is the need to remain positive when writing articles and stories. Any negative portrayal in the public eye will often be censored or nixed. Another challenge for such writers occurs during the offseason. With the season over and little news to report, these writers really need to dig for articles to write about and stories to cover on a regular basis.
How to Break In – Proven journalistic background
Recommended Skills – Well organized, creativity, knowledge of all sports and current events, patience, multi-tasker, writing skills
Major Players – Sports teams & leagues, sports governing bodies
Salary Range – $0 to $100,000+