By Daniel Swales
With a wealth of experience in the field of sports journalism to share, BT Sport football reporter Andy May today emphasised the importance of practising broadcast and written journalism skills ahead of going into the industry.
Andy was speaking as part of Leeds Trinity’s Journalism and Media week, having worked for a range of employers including the BBC, STAR Sports and Sky Sports.
He shared his tips for budding journalists who are looking to break through into the industry.
“Practice is key,” he said. “It’s a great time now to be entering the sports industry because there are so many different outlets, so right at the start – in terms of honing your skills and just having a portfolio – there are so many different outlets that help you on that front.
“There’s loads of blogs around, and you can almost make your own website now, but it’s key to practice as much as possible, and when it comes to broadcasting, you’ve got to practise as much as possible.”
He went on to stress the importance of being able to stand out as a journalist, expressing how integral it is for someone to be able to set themselves apart from the crowd in their endeavour to secure a role in sports journalism
“Standing out is key, journalism is key, if you can find an original story and get it published in some form, that shows that you get it and you know about journalism, and that will genuinely help.”
Taking questions from the audience, Andy cited journalism as the one key skill employers look for in a candidate applying for a job.
“Finding original stories, knowing what to ask in an interview scenario,” Andy said.
”Say you’re working with sport and you’re looking into a football club’s finances. Knowing how to navigate your way through Companies House, HMRC documents and the court system – that’s still journalism. It might sound like logistics, but it’s still journalism.”
Andy also urged students to be responsible on social media in order to convey the best impression to potential employers.