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What Does a Sports Writer Do?

A sports writer might just cover baseball, or he could be assigned to all of the sports at a particular level.
Sports equipment.
An American football player.
Sports writers often cover rugby games.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 April 2014
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A sports writer may write about one sport only or cover a wide range of them, depending on the publication for which he or she writes. Newspaper sports section writers often work full time to produce a daily column. This type of writer tends to cover many different sport events as well as news about contracts and teams. A freelance sports writer chooses his or her own topics for stories, but also has to get the ideas approved by the publication's editor before writing each article.

Freelance sports writers usually write more about the industry as well as team and player performances over a season, whereas newspaper writers with daily columns tend to provide game recaps. Writing recaps of games with major plays and players noted often means the sports writer watches the event the night before. He or she takes notes during the game before writing the article or column to have it ready on deadline for the morning newspaper. Sports writers need to turn stories around quickly with fast writing, but they also need to be sure to keep the facts such as scoring information accurate.

Car racing and golf journalists may travel often to cover events and tournaments. They try to get interviews with high profile sports personalities. Many sports writers work at making industry relationships while building a reputation for quality journalism. Getting interviews with top athletes and sports stars can increase their demand with editors.

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Researching players' averages and other details is a routine part of the job for most sports writers. A sports writer must stay up to date on trade talks and contract information. Even sports recap writers must interject interesting news and background information into their game analysis to keep readers reading. Checking their articles for accuracy before sending them to an editor is important.

Freelance sport writers spend part of their time looking for new markets to write for, such as online magazines. They must convince sports editors to assign them topics to write about or pitch an original article idea to an editor. A sports writer must prove his or her knowledge and ability to an editor in order to be accepted to write about a particular sport. When an editor gets to know and appreciate a sports writer's work, he or she will assign larger sports stories. If a freelance sport writer's name and work become popular, he or she may be offered a regular column in a sports publication or department.

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Discuss this Article

chivebasil
Post 3

As far as writer jobs go I would think that being a sports writer would be one of the best because there are big events happening all the time. Almost every night there is a game on and you know that every year there will be playoff dramas and championship games which warrant a lot of coverage.

Other writers have to go and and scare up story leads. Sports writers are handed a page full of them every single night.

nextcorrea
Post 2

I used to work as a beat writer for a newspaper outside Philadelphia. I covered all Philie sports but I mostly focused on flyers hockey.

Writing about sports had been a life long dream of mine but the work is a lot harder than you would expect. There is more to it than just watching sports and hanging out with athletes. You have to have all the same instincts as a traditional journalist. The deadlines are also really tight and sometimes you have to scramble to file a story or flesh out its length. It was a great job but boy it took it out of me.

truman12
Post 1

Sports journalism is bigger than it has ever been before and as a result their is more sports writing than ever before. Lots of sports reporters who used to work only in a broadcast medium now write blogs or contribute to magazines.

With all this writing going on the standard of sports writing has improved significantly. These used to be little more than beat reporters but there is now sport writing that encompasses almost any imaginable writing style or subject matter. If you need any further proof look no further than the fact the the late Hunter S Thompson wrote a weekly column for ESPN the magazine.

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