Speaking at Leeds Trinity University's Journalism and Media Week, Andy May, BT Sport Presenter, shared his top tips for landing a job in sports broadcasting. From finding original stories to developing a good network of contacts here's what he recommends.
Top tip - be a good journalist
"Finding original stories will set up apart," says Andy. "Think about human interest stories and what you really want to know from players and managers. Being a good journalist and finding the stories will get you noticed. Sports journalism is not a nine to five job, you're always on the lookout for stories."
Don't try too hard to be a broadcaster
"We've all seen people who try too hard to be what they think is a good broadcaster. The best piece of advice is to be yourself, that way you will stand out. Use a colloquial, conversational tone and be natural."
Develop your network of contacts
"Contacts are vital, and not just the players and managers involved in sport, but in the media industry as well. Build your network. As a presenter, you will go to people who you know and trust for help, and if you have a professional relationship with them they will come to you."
Andy also suggested covering matches with young players as a way to develop relationships. As their career progresses you have already established trust with them.
Develop your skills and practice
"Get as much experience as you can," says Andy. "Whether it's on hospital radio or a community station, or even just your own camera." He suggested practicing speaking to the camera, unscripted. "One of my tests for a job was to speak into the camera unscripted for 20-minutes. I could only do it because I'd been doing that for a community channel."
Get published / broadcast
"It's important to show what you can do," adds Andy. "Develop a portfolio showcasing your best work whether that's in broadcasting or print."
Stand out and invest in yourself
When asked for his advice on how to stand out as a journalist, Andy said strong journalism skills were essential. "Finding original stories is the best way to stand out as a journalist. Learn as much as you can and develop other skills such as editing."
When a student asked about what to do when opportunities are not coming up, Andy had the following advice. "I know it can be hard but keep going, invest in yourself, show you are willing and keen. Keep knocking on doors and eventually you'll get an opportunity."