Sportswriters cover the world of sports. They write about games, personalities
and issues using the same techniques and ethical guidelines as news reporters.
Sportswriting has cruised into the forefront of what is considered big
news. There are dozens of publications that want to be first with a big story
about the wide world of sports. Being a sportswriter is a lot closer to being
a "hard news" journalist than it used to be.
But how do you start? Lynn Zinser started with a degree in journalism.
For her, sportswriting just made sense.
"I loved to write and I loved sports," says Zinser, "and it seemed like
a good way to put those two together." She says that becoming a journalist
is hard and sometimes discouraging work. "Just write as much as possible,"
she advises. "Do as much of it as you can to make sure you like doing it,
and to show people that you will be good at it."
Rising through the ranks of journalism can be difficult, especially in
the world of sports. Deadlines are a constant challenge. Since many sporting
events take place at night -- when daily newspapers are printed -- stories
often have to be written in a matter of minutes.
Many sportswriters use a technique called "the running game story" -- writing
about the game as it unfolds. The running story is continually updated from
the top, with the oldest information being pushed down and eventually out
of the story.
Sportswriter Grant Kerr is frank about how difficult the odd hours can
really be. "This isn't a Dolly Parton [9-to-5] industry. The hours are different,
probably every day. You work a lot of nights, split shifts, that kind of thing."
He adds that the lifestyle can be hard on his family. "It can create some
hardships, but there [are] pros and cons to all jobs."
Sportswriters must stand up to constant travel.