How to become a Sports Journalist in India

by Vishakha Mathur

With thousands of players being involved with different sports all over the world, the sheer interest of people in sports is growing every day. They are interested in not only playing the sport but also in knowing more about the sport i.e. the latest events related to their favourite sport, the profile of the sportsperson they like, etc.

In this context, emerges the role of a sports journalist who comes with a passion for sports and a keen eye for writing. His job is to update the readers and viewers with the latest news about different sports by presenting it in a manner that is not only catchy but precise and apt.

Sports Journalism as a Career in India

Growth of sports journalism in India

There is a sports column in every newspaper and magazine along with news channels spending a significant amount of their air-time to broadcast the news about sports. People in India are just not interested in reading about sports, but this section has a universal readership. This thus marks the importance of sports journalism in India and signifies that this field of journalism is growing at a fast pace every day.

Job Profile of a Sports Journalist
As a sports journalist, one is looking at a variety of tasks related to sports, but the main responsibility is reporting it for people to gain more matter on sports. There is a huge range of topics that a sports journalist can cover, thus making it a very comprehensive job profile.

Categorisations

The field of sports journalism, like mentioned above, is extremely broad. Thus there are different positions associated with it:

  1. Reporter

A reporter is supposed to report the updates related to the various sports or any particular sport that he specialises in. He or she can be employed with a magazine or a newspaper on a regular basis and can be called upon to report news at any point of time-related to sports

  1. Columnist

A journalist could also be a columnist in a magazine or a newspaper and write strictly about sports in his columns. They put forward opinions on both sides of any debates in a completely objective manner for people to learn more about the issue.

  1. Editor or sub-editor

The work of a sports editor is similar to the work of any other editor. However, a sports editor looks after the sports category of the newspaper or the magazine and edits and refines articles submitted by his reporters or columnist.

Sports Journalist Job

A sports journalist can work in

a) broadcast journalism namely radio or television
b) print journalism namely magazine or newspaper.

In broadcast journalism, he would have to report news on-air and would have to be spontaneous and prompt where as in print journalism, the person would have to put down a fair amount of time to his thoughts and the news, in words for his readers to go through. 

C) The third option available is to work with online portals such as websites or blogs where the person would have to write articles for the people accessing them through the internet.

Skills required

The various skills required to be a sports journalist are

  • Passion for sports

One cannot but agree that this is a prerequisite to becoming a sports journalist, for only with this passion will a person be driven to be a top notch journalist in something that he loves.

  • Excellent writing skills

 If one wishes to be in print journalism, writing forms an eminent part of his job. Thus excellent writing skills are required by a person to present his views and the news in a manner that will keep the interest of his readers alive.

  • Hard-work and dedication

The reason behind this skill being of extreme importance is that this profession of sports journalist requires a person to work for long hours relentlessly putting up updates about the ongoing match which in turn requires a lot of dedication and hard-work. He would also have to meet several deadlines and work under pressure.

  • Eye for detail

Reporting requires a sports journalist to investigate information and provide precise detailing to his articles for his readers. He would also have to undertake research to provide a context to his work for a better understanding.

Educational qualifications

A person looking to establish himself as a sports journalist should have a flair for journalism and sports. He can begin by opting for any stream in class 11 and 12 and can prepare for journalism entrance tests for the bachelor's degree.

Bachelors program

A student can choose to opt for a bachelor’s program offered by several institutes on journalism which is for three years. The courses provided by these institutions are extremely comprehensive and teaches students everything they need to know about journalism including sports journalism.

Related Link: B.A Journalism from Manipal University

Masters degree

Very few colleges offer a separate masters degree in sports journalism. This aspect of journalism is usually collaborated with the general journalism program with a specialisation in a specific area such as sports journalism. The duration of the course can differ from institute to institute.

Diploma

A person can also consider diploma in sports journalism which specifically focuses on this aspect of journalism and provides a thorough learning program for those wanting to opt for sports journalism.

Sports Journalism Colleges

  1. Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education
  2. Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai
  1. Times School of Journalism, New Delhi
  1. Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior
  1. Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
  2. Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, Bhopal 

Take an Internship- A very Important Step do understand the profession!

Understanding that journalism itself, as a career is extremely practical in nature, is extremely important. Thus, getting hands on experience and practical knowledge of the work is very important.Thus students should take up internships with newspapers and magazines or news channels to learn more about the job and industry.

After getting proper education, one can make himself, available to opportunities for a sports journalist and apply in companies having this post.

 The job of a sports journalist is exciting and requires him to be on his feet all the time. There is no scope of monotony, thus if you are looking for something that keeps your brain busy all the time, then this is the career for you.

Some of the famous sports journalists in India are

 Sports Journalists  
Kuntal Chakraborty An alumni of St. Xaviers Mumbai is one of the famous sports journalist and have covered famous sports personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, L
Leander Paes, Saurav Ganguly,Vishwanathan Anand, Ricky Ponting etc.
Mayanti Langer An Alumni of Hindu College Delhi University, covered Football to a large extent and she was a host in the 2010 FIFA World Cup
KN Prabhu Worked for Times of India as a columnist and covered cricket. He was awarded the C. K. Nayudu Award for his contributions to cricket in 1998.
 Vimcy Pioneer of Sports Journallism in state of Kerala
Harsha Bhogle A well kown personality into Broadcasting Journalism, Cricket
Maika Bajaj She is the youngest ever television host of the Davis Cup competition in India
Rohit Brijnath A Columnist, He has covered the Olympic Games, Asian Games, World Cup cricket, grand slam tennis events and numerous cricket tours

  

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