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Specialist Journalism: Sport

  • Module code: JO6007
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 requirements or equivalent for journalism field
  • Co-requisites: None


This module offers an introduction to and broad experience of sports journalism. It will help you develop your writing and reporting skills to produce professional sports copy, including match reports, interviews, sports news stories, profiles and comment. You will also explore the context and pressures under which sports journalism is produced in the modern media. During project work in the second half of the module, you will produce a publishable sports package.


  • To enable students to have a working understanding of how sports journalism is produced across print and online media.
  • To foster an understanding of the pressures involved in the production of sports journalism and an appreciation of the importance of working to deadlines, including online/agency rolling deadlines. 
  • To offer an insight, though study and practical experience, into the role of sports journalism in the modern media and its relationship to other forms of journalism.
  • To develop skills that allow students to produce a range of journalism across different sports and using a variety of techniques from match reporting and running copy, to interviewing.
  • To equip students with the skills and confidence necessary to undertake a well researched, original, extended individual project.

Learning outcomes

  • Write a match report to a professional standard, including filing urgent copy to a deadline
  • Research and produce a wide range of other sports journalism, including news and previews, interviews and profiles and comment and analysis.
  • Display a keen and critical awareness of  the relationship of sports journalism to other forms of journalism and the different  pressures involved in producing sports copy for a multimedia audience.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work independently and at length on an extended individual project involving significant primary research and the use of a variety of different processes and/or mediums
  • Produce an in-depth sports package of publishable standard for online and/or print media demonstrating use of different forms of sports writing/content.

Curriculum content

  • Match reporting; practice in workshops on recorded events and live at sporting fixtures where possible
  • Running copy; practice in workshops and at live events where feasible.
  •  Sports news and news values in sport; discussion and evaluation of what makes news in sport and why; changing news values in sports coverage; changing methods of sports newsgathering.
  • Sports previewing; techniques for one of sports journalism's key features.
  • Sports pictures/visuals 
  • Analysis, interviews and profiles
  •  Reporting minor/non-mainstream sports
  • The relationship between sports journalism and general news/financial reporting and other forms of journalism
  • Devising, researching and constructing a cohesive body of work, using a range journalism techniques and/or platforms.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered in the first semester through weekly two hour workshops. Workshops will involve practical work involving real sports coverage supported by short talks, hand-outs and presentations by working sports journalism practitioners. In the second semester students will prepare an in-depth sports package, previewing or reporting on a major sporting event. This in-depth work will be supported by tutorials and/or seminars of approximately five hours per student but this may vary. Students will be expected to undertake considerable study and practical work outside classroom time and by the nature of the subject this will include evening and weekend work, for example to cover sports events and undertake interview. Students will also be expected to show a good sporting knowledge during the course and a willingness to extend that knowledge beyond the mainstream/popular sports. They will be given the opportunity to test themselves in live situations. Reading of sporting coverage, keeping abreast of issues in sports journalism and the changing role of the sports writer will be an essential part of progressing through the module. 

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 11x2hr workshops, 5x 1hr seminar/tutorial per student 27
Scheduled learning and teaching Study, practice, development of individual project 273
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment for this module is designed to test the ability of students to produce fast, coherent, entertaining match coverage, to distinguish between different types of sports journalism and to put into practice what they have learned in the form of a live match report, a sports feature/features and an individual in-depth project. It is also intended to test students' awareness of  major stories, issues and debates in the world of sport.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Write and update a match report including fast result summary to deadline and to a professional standard. Students will practise match reporting from a variety of events and their work will be assessed formatively through peer group tutor and (where feasible) visiting professional sub-editing. Summative assessment through live match report.
Research and produce a wide range of other sports journalism, including news and previews, interviews and profiles and comment and analysis. Formatively assessed through regular writing assignments and work-in-progress evaluations by tutor of features and sports packages. Summative assessment of finished articles/sports package.
Display a keen and critical awareness of the relationship of sports journalism to other forms of journalism and the different pressures involved in producing sports copy for a specific, niche or general multimedia audience. Formative assessment in class/workshop discussion contribution and during work-in progress evaluations of match reports/features/sports package. Summative assessment in balance and scope of sports package.
Produce an in-depth sports package of publishable standard for online and/or print media demonstrating use of different forms of sports writing/content. Formative assessment during work-in progress tutorials and tutor/peer-led seminar discussions. Summative assessment of finished package.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
PRC Portfolio including match reporting test and feature article 50
CWK Extended individual project 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Core Text(s):

Steen, Rob (2008) Sports Journalism: A multimedia primer (Routledge )


Bibliography recommended reading

Recommended Reading:

 Agassi, Andre (2010) Open (Harper Collins)

Associated Press (2001) sportswriting handbook (Associated Press)

Boyle, Raymond  (2006) Sports Journalism: context and issues (Sage)

Barnes, Simon (2006) The Meaning of Sport (Short Books)

Farrington, Neil (2012) Race, racism and sports journalism Routledge

Stoffer, Kathryn (2010) Sports Journalism: An introduction to reporting and writing (Rownman and Littlefield)


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