Tag: #Journalism

Sports Journalism

If you’re a fan of sports, you might be found glued to your television set every weekend, watching racecars turn left for three hours, or millionaires throwing, hitting or carrying some kind of ball around.  While very few of us will end up as professional athletes, there are career opportunities for those who love sports, are excellent writers and communicators and, in some cases, have a great on-camera or behind the microphone presence.

Whether sitting behind a computer, standing on the field or talking in a broadcast booth, there are jobs in sports journalism.  If you’re a fan of sports and want to get involved in the world without getting too dirty or too injured, sports journalism is the field for you!

The best things about being a sports journalist is meeting your athletic heroes and the opportunity to travel. There is also a good deal of flexibility in your schedule, however you will have to adhere to the professional sports schedule you are covering, which likely means some weekend work.  The industry is also an easy one to explain to family that comes over for Thanksgiving, asking what you’re doing with that degree.

No matter where you live, there is likely a news organization nearby that covers sports. Here in Appleton, the Appleton Post Crescent newspaper and website devote a great deal of coverage to the Green Bay Packers, especially on Mondays. Local Appleton and Green Bay radio and TV stations also dedicate many resources to the coverage of local and statewide sports. Due to media consolidation, there are not as many listed job opportunities as there used to be. For example. Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the United States, owns and prints most of the local papers in this area including the aforementioned Post Crescent, the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Oshkosh Northwestern, and the Fond du Lac Reporter.  So rather than applying at a single paper, you would instead apply with Gannett.

Sports journalists usually get their start right out of college as a general reporter, who covers more than just sports. With time and excellent job performance, journalists begin to specialist in certain areas, like sports. A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or English is often a requirement to get started. Experience, such as writing for The Lawrentian is also extremely helpful.

As is the case with several industries, the future of sports journalism involves analytics. As there is data collected about every instance in every sport, sports data analysis has increased. Sports publications are now hiring people with extensive background in statistics and mathematics to publish articles detailing this analysis. New metrics are used to compile rankings of players and teams. Blog sites like FiveThirtyEight and other full-time sport analytic sites take available data and construct analytic heavy articles about sports.

In terms of career stability, as long as there are sports, there will be sports journalists who love what they do! If you’d like to learn more, schedule a visit with the Career Center to discuss it further!







Spencer Brown

Spencer R. Brown is a sophomore experiencing their first year at Lawrence University, with a major in Government. They work as a media and marketing assistant in the Career Center, and curates articles for students in both Communication, Journalism & Written Arts (#CJW) and Government, Law & International Relations (#GLI) career communities. A writer and animator by trade, Spencer is fascinated in finding ways to make digesting information entertaining. Feel free to connect with them on LinkedIn here!

Alternatives to Journalism

Print Journalism is quickly being relegated to the past. With the advent of radio, television, and finally the internet, the industry has been left unable to compete with cheaper and more expedient forms of media. The amount of print readers, for example, has been halved in the past two decades. Yet, despite the faltering nature of the print industry, the allure of ink on cheap newspaper still draws many to print journalism. To those individuals I recommend two things: (1) this article about the importance of print journalism and the shortcomings of new media for validation and (2) the remaining paragraphs of this article in which I offer a couple of alternatives to print journalism which demand similar skillsets and interests.


Whereas print journalism is expected to continue to decline, at least in the near future, freelance writing continues to employ more and more writers. Freelance writers are self-employed writers that can be found writing almost anything that can be found online, ranging from New York Times articles to product descriptions for online marketplaces. To learn more about freelancing, follow this link to read my article about some of the finer details of the industry.  

Public Relations

PR specialists pride themselves on their ability to make authentic connections with their customers while skillfully guiding potential customers to their product. Similar to freelancing, public relations also demand a propensity for entrepreneurial strategizing. PR specialists, even those working exclusively through social media, rarely publish content spontaneously and each release is typically statistically analyzed. Compared to freelance, it is arguable that public relations is less writing intensive and more analytics intensive; however, if you have a love for both writing and analytics, this is the perfect job for you. For a more in-depth look at PR in social media, follow this link.


If you are drawn to print journalism for the high level of collaboration between different departments, working in publishing may be the career for you. Compared to print journalism, physical book sales have been making a comeback as of late. To work in the publishing industry in a literary capacity one must be willing to trade their passion for writing with a passion for reading; however, for many, working closely with fellow booklovers in departments ranging form editing to cover-design is worth the trade. For a brief overview of the editing aspect of publishing, click here.

Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Freelance Writing Careers

              Freelancing is one of the most profitable and secure industries in which one can earn a living from writing, but, the field of freelancing, barring a basic definition, is somewhat obscure. So what do freelancers actually do? And how does one start a career as a freelancer?

              Freelancing, at its most basic, is writing for a brand or an individual on a typically short-term contract. Within the broad industry of freelancing, there are a few subfields that are worth mentioning. Copywriting, largely the most profitable subfield of freelance, is broadly understood as writing for commercial publications. This could mean simply writing descriptions of products in an exciting way, or writing articles for brands that point customers to a certain solution: your product. For those looking to enter the field, copywriting is not only the most lucrative, it also seems to be the most accessible.

              Journalistic writing, in comparison to copy writing, demands extensive experience as a writer and typically a background in writing (English majors, this is your time to shine!). As a freelance journalistic writer, one can find themselves writing for trade magazines and newspapers. This article in the NYT, titles “Why Settle for Boring Glassware?,”  for example, was written by a freelancer. Journalistic freelance has a reputation for paying less than copywriting; however, it is also known to be simply more fun. Most journalistic copywriters focus on a specific niche that they find especially enjoyable, and spend their professional time researching and writing about this niche.

              Creative freelance writing is the final broad sub-category of the industry and can see freelancers do anything from writing for short-story competitions to garnering their own blog, which they sponsor through ad revenue. Compared to the other forms of freelancing, creative is arguably more difficult, as the market is smaller, and it can time to foster a personal brand.

Once you’ve found a subfield that you’re interested in, you might be wondering what you need to do to break into freelancing, and, unfortunately, it isn’t for the faint of heart. As a freelancer, you must be comfortable with rejection. Companies will reject your contract offers thousands of times and they may even reject your writing after they have given you the contract. You must also be comfortable with instability, as the availability of jobs changes from month to month. Yet, if you remained undeterred, there are a few things you can do to soften your entrance into the industry.

  1. Consider your work as that of a business and not of an individual.

If you want to work as a freelancer, it is imperative that you consider your operations to be those of a professional business. Those who casually approach freelancing often undervalue their work and they skimp on the necessary strategic planning that would allow them to find success.

  • Enter the field with a strong network.

If possible, it is ideal to enter the field with a strong network of individuals who are already familiar with some element of your abilities to write/work. This reality often gives professionals transitioning from a parallel industry a leg-up; however, the ability to largely skip the difficult stage of building one’s reputation and list of contacts through cold calls and writing portfolios can make a huge difference.

  • Build your presence online.

Essential for freelance writers, especially those starting out, is some form of online presence that allows interested clients to learn more about your writing ability and your personal style. Such a presence often takes the form of a blog, which houses a series of blog posts, or a freelancing website, which houses a portfolio of your best work. An online presence alone is not enough to find clients; however, when paired with cold calls and other forms of networking, a website adds legitimacy and transparency to one’s freelancing business.

  • Find your niche.

It is important to specialize as a freelance writer. In the field of freelancing, generalists rarely stand a chance against competition that has written about a relatively narrow topic for a long period of time. Thus, it is important to find a niche category of work that is both large enough to be profitable, and interesting enough to occupy the majority of the freelancer’s professional time.

Freelance writing is a truly fascinating industry that provides engaging work for thousands of writers. Yet, as has been hopefully conveyed above, it is a field that requires a strong entrepreneurial skillset and thick skin, in addition to excellent writing skills. If you are truly interested in freelancing as a career, I recommend the blog of “Come Write With Us,” a company started by experienced freelancer Kristan Wong.

Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and to work on anything else professional development-related.