Sports Writer Career Information : Sports Writer Job Description


A sportswriter is basically, very much like
a news reporter, in that, you are a public representative. People who read your newspaper,
are counting on you to provide them with breaking news, and insights, just as you would in a
news situation, whether you were covering politics or city council, or state government,
or whatever. A sports reporters job is very much the same. It’s just that we’re reporting
on what’s happening in the sports field, with breaking news, with injury updates, with recruiting
,with coaches being fired, coaches being hired. It’s more than just covering a game. It’s
very much a news reporter, just in the sports sense, but very much like a news reporter,
in the same way. The responsibilities of a sports writer, in my particular case, I’m
a sports beat writer, and that is, I cover a particular college. I cover Vanderbilt University,
so my job is to cover all the sports at that college, and my responsibility is to stay
on top of the breaking news, day to day. We talk about games that are coming up. We talk
about games that have already happened. We write about again, injuries. We write about
coaching changes, players coming, and going. A sports beat for a sports reporter, is a
365 day a year job, because anything could happen. Unfortunately, the day after Christmas,
a few years ago, there was a player here at this school, who was actually shot and killed,
and so a day after Christmas, I’m working on a story about a player being shot and killed.
That’s just one of the unfortunate things, that happen with this. You cover everything
that happens in the sports world, on your beat, whenever it happens, so that would be
the main responsibility, is just keeping your finger on the pulse, of all the action. I
guess the biggest difference between us and a television journalist, for example, is that
a TV person will come on, and they might talk for thirty seconds to a minute, about a game
that happened tonight. They may be on the ten o’clock news, the eleven o’clock news,
talking about the game. We’re going to write fifteen to twenty column inches about that
game, and it’s going to take us a lot longer to write that fifteen or twenty inches, than
it will be for a television person, to read about it for thirty seconds, so I guess ours,
is perhaps a little more thorough. We have to go a little bit deeper, because we have
to provide more information, to write a story. TV and radio is more of a quick hit, type
of situation. We’re going to read you this information and move on. We’re trying to provide
our readers with a full article, that’s going to take. You may be able to read it in a few
minutes, but it’s going to take me thirty minutes to an hour, to probably write it,
so we probably have to take things a little deeper, than the broadcast journalists, for
sure.

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