Passionate about sports, understand various sports rules, know a thing or two about writing, sporty, and fluent in several languages. Is that all that is needed to be a sports journalist?
Well, let's find out five things to know about sports journalism from the real journalists themselves!
Andika Putra, Journalist, BolaSkor.com
1. Not all Journalists understand sports
"There are several new sports that we just heard about, such as Xiangqi or commonly known as Elephant Chess. Who in Indonesia knows about this kind of sport? So, in my opinion, Sports Journalists should be interested in finding out new things about sports."
2. Weekends marathon
"Most sporting events are held on weekends. Like football, which is often held on Saturday and Sunday."
3. Good communication
"Sports Journalists must have good communication because they have to connect with sources. Some athletes do not have good communication skills, in contrast to politicians who are used to talking in public."
4. Get ready to sweat
"When covering multi-sport events such as Asian Games and SEA Games, usually we will often walk from venue to venue for the duration of the events. Sports journalists need physical strength."
5. Ready to be disappointed
"For example, you are a fan of team A. When you become a Sports Journalist, you will know their weakness. You have to be prepared to be disappointed with how you previously perceived a sports team before becoming a sports journalist."
Benediktus Gerendo Pradigdo, Editor, Bola.com
1. Be interested in multiple sports
"If you are a football fan and become a Sports Journalist, you can't just write about football. You must be ready to cover basketball, boxing, archery, weightlifting, and other sports."
2. In-depth research
"When it comes to covering sports that aren't well-known, you must know the names of the players, achievements, etc, so you can convey that knowledge to the public."
3. Knowledgeable about the sports industry
"We must know how a sports federation creates a strong team, its coaching method, and even how it organises a competition. This is how we know if the sports industry is running properly or not."
4. Communication skills with athletes
"Politicians or governments are good at public speaking. But when covering athletes, not all athletes are chatty."
5. Ready to work overtime
"Whether we like it or not, Sports Journalists have to work overtime, especially if there are competitions, matches, or federation events that are held at night. When people say, 'It's good to be a Sports Journalist, you can enter the stadium freely, you don't have to queue.' That's true, but we have to take reports and think clearly amid the euphoria of a game."
Satria Perdana, Editor, IDN Times
1. Easier if you know the games
"You have to know the rules of each sport. If you are not interested in sports, it will take a long process to become a successful Sports Journalist."
2. Busy weekends
"Match days are mostly on weekends like the English Premier League. MotoGP and F1 are the same."
3. Traveling is not as fun as you might think
"Working abroad is not always fun because we will get more pressure to get quality news. When you go abroad for a multi-sport event, your mentality to survive as an individual and as a journalist is constantly tested."
4. Know your sources
"Sports Journalists should always check the credibility of foreign publishers when it comes to translating. You should always be very careful."
5. Be creative
"It requires some creativity and sensitivity. This can make your article stand out compared to other sports journalists."
Wila Wildayanti, Reporter, BolaSport.com
1. Got the chance to meet the athletes
"Even so, the process to meet them is not easy. Communicating with athletes can be very difficult. Not all of them want to be interviewed, especially those who are under an agency."
2. It's hard to find sports news
"You should always have fresh ideas about sports. Especially when making features, columns, or opinions."
3. Working hours are more ‘flexible’ than political journalists
"It looks more relaxed, but we actually spend long hours on the field compared to other journalists. You will have to arrive earlier and finish your work before going home."
"Journalists in Indonesia are not paid as much as in other countries."
5. Female Sports Journalists tend to have better access to scoop
"It is easier for female Sports Journalists to get exclusive information, especially from male sources. Although, not all sources are like that."