Sports journalist: salary and training

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What exactly does it mean to be a sports journalist?

Sports journalists position themselves as the relay between events that occur in the sports environment and the general public. Their objective is to report facts while exercising a critical and objective eye.

With an acute knowledge of the rules and culture of the sports world, he or she can deal with sports news in a general way or specialize in a particular branch. It is a very popular position in the journalism industry, but places are expensive and limited despite its presence in a wide variety of media such as print, internet, television and radio.

Thus, the sports journalist is required to work for many media, in various formats (short stories, reports, filmed or audio, live or duplex) by reporting facts that he or she has previously formatted and analyzed. His remuneration depends on the popularity of the medium in which he works and whether his image is exploited through the media in which he works.

What are the qualities of a sports journalist?

As with any job that involves writing, sports journalists must have excellent writing skills, a well-developed ability to synthesize information and a strong sense of analysis.

In itself, the urgency of the sports subjects implies that it is necessary to be efficient and prolific. In short, know how to write quickly and well. If he or she moves to the other side of the camera and is called upon to be a presenter (radio or television), the journalist must have flawless diction and a mastery of the set codes. Its reactivity must be sharpened and it must have a spirit of mediation in the exchanges between stakeholders.

Like other journalists, he or she must keep a cool head in all circumstances, as he or she is subject to last-minute changes and unforeseen events of all kinds. The time of information is extremely fast and the sports journalist must know how to act and react accordingly, without ever being destabilized.

Finally, whether he or she is addressing a niche audience or a large one, the sports journalist must know his or her files inside out, both in terms of the players and the rules inherent to the sports he or she is talking about. Reading other journals on the subject is essential to maintain a constant level of knowledge. There is no room for complacency as the target audience is picky, knowledgeable and demanding.

What studies to become a sports journalist?

There is no specific training to become a sports journalist. First of all, it is essential to acquire a very thorough cultural knowledge of the sport. In general, it is the passion of the discipline that pushes young journalists to start in this niche. In order to meet the ever-increasing demands, it is good to have a technical background in order to best serve your purpose: editing, filming, recording, etc.

As soon as you obtain your baccalaureate

Once the baccalaureate has been obtained, it is possible for a student to enter a school of journalism via a relatively large network of establishments. He can choose several paths, such as entering an IUT through a competitive examination, or embarking on a Bachelor’s degree in information and communication. This is a first foray before specializing and entering a school of journalism.

After a Bac+2 or Bac+3

After completing a 2 or 3 year course of study after the baccalaureate, it is then possible to enter a school of journalism. Admission is by competitive examination and can be prepared over one year, via a preparatory class. If the theoretical preparation is rich and covers many fields, the preparation to become a good journalist does not stop at the school benches. The important thing is to get used to the field and to learn in a concrete context. Therefore, it is important to do internships as soon as possible, in order to observe the practice and to assimilate the right behaviors. Journalists are professionals who work in the field, and it is important that their theoretical knowledge be put into practice quickly. In the world of sports, the codes are particularly specific and the apprentice journalist must master them.

How much does a sports journalist earn?

The salary of a sports journalist covers a wide range, as his or her duties can vary depending on his or her status and experience. He can be an employee of a large company or work as a freelancer, he can be fixed or cover events, the share of expenses he has to pay can be extremely variable. The role may be as editor-in-chief or as a freelancer at the beginning of a career.

Thus, a freelancer has a relatively precarious status and his salary is quite low. We estimate between 60 and 100 euros per sheet. This is a first step before moving upmarket. A young journalist can start at around 2,000 gross per month. His or her compensation can increase well beyond that, depending on his or her position and level of experience.

Senior journalists, many of whom have salaried status, enjoy significantly higher salaries. Of course, you must take into account your seniority, your specialty, your possible reputation and your position within the editorial department. It is estimated that a senior journalist can earn between 60,000 and 70,000 euros gross per year. However, this scale remains an average and this use is defined on a case-by-case basis.

Does INSEEC offer training to become a sports journalist?

INSEEC offers a program that provides a panoramic view of the different activities related to sports. The school offers several training courses of varying length to specialize in this field of activity, depending on your choice of orientation.

The MSc in Sports Marketing program trains future sports professionals covering a wide range of fields in the sports industry, journalism, tourism and leisure in order to prepare them for the various senior positions at the heart of the sector.

Other training courses, leading to diplomas at BAC+3, 4 and 5 are also offered.

Two start dates are organized during the year, one in February/March and one in September/October, in alternating years. The pace, organization of courses and subjects may vary depending on the campus (Bordeaux, Paris, Lyon and Chambéry) and the program chosen. The admissions department answers all questions by phone and email.

The first year of Sport and Marketing Strategy presents a unique and complementary set of disciplines to acquire an indispensable foundation in the field:

  • Strategy for outdoor organizations & companies
  • Outdoor communication strategy
  • Consumer Insight fundamentals in sports
  • Digital strategy & inbound marketing for outdoor companies
  • Customer Marketing & Omnichannel Customer Journey in Sports
  • Social media and sport
  • Sporting event
  • Sports Tourism Marketing

The second year consolidates the basics taught and puts more emphasis on specialization:

  • Marketing of innovation in sport
  • Brand strategy & ingredient brand
  • Mobile marketing in sports
  • Sport and augmented and virtual reality
  • Ecodesign and sustainable marketing for outdoor sports
  • Product management
  • Corporate strategy
  • Project management for outdoor events

At the end of this program, students are equipped to enter the many fields covered by the sports environment. They are then sufficiently prepared to master several skills that are essential to these future functions:

  • Implementation and management of the marketing and management strategy in the sports sector
  • Determine the marketing strategy and propose an innovative offer
  • Define and implement the business development plan
  • Manage and implement communication and digital marketing actions
  • Manage a marketing and sales team

Frequently asked questions: the main questions asked in the field of Sport

Updated 2 August 2023