A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Sports Reporter
There’s never been a more exciting time to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, especially as evolving technology opens the door to new opportunities every day. The field has grown larger and more diverse in recent years, welcoming people from all walks of life to share their passion for the game and entertain fellow sports fans. Most of the best-known sports reporters started out just like you – as someone with a love for sports.
With the right education and career path, you too have the potential to evolve your hobby into a lifelong profession.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a sports reporter, here’s a useful guide that breaks down everything you need to know to chart a successful career path in Sports Broadcasting.
Step One: Learn about the Industry and Find Your Passion
Deciding that you want a job in sports broadcasting is just the first of a long series of exciting steps. Before setting up your professional goals, you’ll want to research the industry and determine exactly where your interests may be. For example, do you want to work as a sports reporter on the radio or a television program? Would you rather be a play-by-play announcer or a color commentator?
There is a wide range of careers you can consider within the field of sports broadcasting, including working for specific teams or as part of a network. You might decide that you’d rather stick with local or regional sports, or your career dreams might take you to the national stage – it’s up to you to decide. Once you have a clearer idea of which direction you want your sports reporting career to take, you can create a solid plan to achieve those goals.
Step Two: Begin Your Education and Experience Early
No matter what are your long-term career goals, it’s never too early to start working towards your dream job. For students still in high school, valuable experience can be gained by working with a high school television or radio station. Volunteer to assist announcers at your school’s sports games or sign up to write the sports section for your school newspaper. Seek out learning experiences wherever possible, and you can be off to a great start by the time you earn your high school diploma.
If you’ve already completed high school, there are still plenty of ways to begin building your career foundation. See if you can practice your sports calling skills by working youth sporting events in the community, even if that means working on a volunteer basis. And of course, watching your favorite sports and paying close attention to the broadcasters’ techniques can be a great way to learn.
Step Three: Attend an Excellent Sports Broadcasting School
In order to be considered as a good candidate for any sports broadcasting job, you will need to attend a reputable educational program. The best media school for sports reporting will be one that offers a dedicated sports broadcasting program, one that is specifically designed to prepare you to enter the industry. Ideally, search for a program that provides both technical knowledge (through coursework) and hands-on experience so you can put your newly-found skills into practice. Make sure to research your options before committing to a program, because not all media schools are created equally. It’s important to choose one that offers coursework in broadcasting as well as writing, editing, production, marketing, and other key elements of the industry.
Step Four: Complete an Internship
Getting your education is an important step, but equally critical is securing an internship in the media industry. Many employers consider an internship to be a highly desirable qualification for any job candidate. As an intern, you’ll be able to gain valuable, on-the-job experience in a “real world” setting, allowing you to work under the supervision of experienced mentors. Everything you learned in the classroom will be put to the test, so you’ll be able to make connections between your coursework and your future career.
In addition to the opportunity to build professional experience, interning is also the perfect way to network. You’ll be able to meet people in the industry and establish yourself as a good job candidate, ideally earning future job recommendations and referrals.
Step Five: Create Your Demo Tape
While you’re completing your education and internship, take advantage of every opportunity to record demos of your work. By compiling your best audio and video clips, you’ll be able to create a well-rounded portfolio of your work, to be used in future job applications. Consider asking a school advisor or mentor to view and critique your demo tape, so you can make improvements as needed. Keep in mind that your demo tape is something that will always be evolving, especially as you gain new experience. Don’t be afraid to edit it to remove older clips and add new ones as your education and professional experience expands.
Step Six: Be Willing to Work Your Way Up
Once you’ve graduated from your media school and completed an internship, you’ll finally be ready to start your exciting career. However, it’s unlikely that your first job will be the dream broadcasting position you’ve always wanted. Like any career, sports reporting requires a willingness to work your way up from entry-level positions. This means that your first job might be something like a production assistant, and it may take time to progress towards the specific role you’re hoping for.
Be willing to tackle any task and take on new challenges with a positive attitude, because there’s always something new to be learned. Different roles can help you learn new skills and strategies to succeed when you do reach your dream broadcasting position.
Step Seven: Always Look for Opportunities for Growth
One of the secrets to advancing in any career is consistently seeking out opportunities for professional development and growth. Especially in a constantly-changing field like sports broadcasting, there’s no end to new information you can learn. Take advantage of educational opportunities, including taking courses, attending professional conferences, and networking within the industry to expand your skills and experience. Having a varied skill set can set you apart from others in the industry, potentially paving the way for you to reach your biggest professional goals.
Start Your Sports Broadcasting Career at Be On Air Media Schools, located in Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, and Miami
At The Media Schools, located in Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, and Miami, you can gain the education, skills, and experience you need to successfully break into the competitive field of sports broadcasting. Our expert instructors have years of industry experience, a passion for the field, and the drive to help students reach their career dreams. Here, you’ll be gaining a major advantage by building a solid foundation of hands-on experience and technical knowledge. Our sports broadcasting program covers everything from editing and production to marketing and writing, so you’ll be ready to dive into the industry head first.
Interested in learning more about the field of sports broadcasting? Check out the sports category of the blog, where you can read about a wide range of topics including tips for becoming a sports reporter, the exciting ways women are breaking into the industry, and more.
Contact us today to learn more about how the sports broadcasting program can help you achieve the career of your dreams.