A sports writer has the responsibility to both entertain and inform people about what is occurring within the world of sports. Some sports writers focus on one particular sport whereas others write on all sports within a given area. Some sports writers are syndicated or are published in more than one newspaper and others may write for a local newspaper or even for a website, blog, magazine or TV show.
Sports writers may work freelance and sell individual stories to various news outlets or they may work for a given publication. Those sports writers that do freelance work pick their sporting events to cover, whereas those that work for a publication are usually assigned stories. Both types of sports writers have to be able to capture the excitement and interest of the reader as well as provide an accurate depiction of the sporting event or issue that they are writing on.
A sports writer must be willing to work long hours and still make deadlines for printing. Most writers now use computer word processing programs that make editing and revising a bit easier, and also allows for submissions by email to meet tight deadlines. Creativity, a very complete understanding of the sport, good rapport with athletes, coaches and managers as well as an ability to write are all important for a sports writer. An interest in news as well as keeping up-to-date on all issues with regards to the sports community is also important on a daily basis.
Common work activities include:
- Attending games and sporting events to be able to write accurately and effectively on the events of the game.
- Writing insightful, informative and original stories on various aspects of sports from human interest on up to game day results.
- Researching, networking and developing contacts in the sporting world that can provide accurate and up-to-date information on various aspects of the sport.
- Meeting with publishers, editors and writing teams to develop and obtain assignments or ideas for possible stories.
- Keeping in constant contact with athletes, owners, coaches and managers and using high ethical standards to avoid compromising the writing.