Sportswriting is a journalistic field that covers sports events and news.
Training for sportswriters
Most sportswriters are required to have at least a college bachelors’ degree. It is helpful if they have some experience in sports, or wrote for a collegiate newspaper. In fact, most publishers won’t hire an entirely green sportswriter. He or she should have some clips to prove experience and skill. Another great way to start is to cover high school sports for a local newspaper. Or, one can build a portfolio by writing for online sites. Typically a sportswriter will have graduated college with a communications, English or journalism degree. The Associated Press Sports Editors offer sports journalists in the United States a training program.
The sports department
At times, because of the “fun” aspect to sportswriting, the sports department in newspapers is called the “toy” department. Sportswriters work hard, however; their field is much more demanding in regards to deadlines than most other reporters.
Qualities of sportswriting
Sportswriters, just like other journalists, must be fair and balanced in their reporting. Often, team colors are banned from press boxes, as is cheering. A sportswriter must act professionally and respectful in all capacities; covering a game is a job – not the perfect chance to get a player’s autograph.
- Grantland Rice, author of “The Tumult and the Shouting,” penned the famous words regarding the Notre Dame-Army football game, “Beneath the blue-gray October sky, the four horsemen rode again …”
- Bill Buford, author of Among the Thugs, a classic undercover account of football hooliganism.
- Some of Ernest Hemingway’s writing can fall into sportswriting, due to his love for boxing, hunting and fishing.
- Bernard Malamud, whose novel, “The Natural,” covered baseball.