Six months ago, MATT OGBORN and some colleagues launched an ambitious website, offering long-form articles on sport. Now, The Sport Collective is helping recent graduates trying to break in to sports journalism, especial young women
When I first envisaged The Sport Collective, I saw it not only as a platform for talented journalist friends but journalists worldwide who had been denied the chance to write ambitious features in the creeping age of churnalism.
The lofty aspirations we once held as student journalists or enthusiastic wordsmiths have been gradually eroded as budgets are cut, time is restricted and SEO dictates what is filed in the online arena.
The response to the first few months since our launch in April has been so heartening that it was an easy decision to try to help the new breed of student sports journalists looking to make their way. Thanks to the increasingly crowded market upon graduation, opportunities are harder to come by since we learned our trade.
Consequently I wanted to use the combined wisdom of The Sport Collective team to ease the path. Ultimately I want the young graduates to write features for the website.
One of our graduates has got his first magazine commission on the back of advice given, while another has two features going up on the TSC website this week and next after pitching and working on great ideas. They can also draw upon the experience we have had working across almost every sport known to man.
We also endeavour to help them get commissions or work placements with newspapers, magazines, websites and broadcast outlets in order to get challenging live experience that will stand them in good stead.
The chance to socialise, debate sport and bounce ideas around with 20 or so fellow graduates, together with the 20-odd team of veterans from The Sport Collective, is also paramount in our thinking.
The camaraderie we experienced in two stints at sports.com and Teletext in the early noughties is the founding basis for The Sport Collective, and this sporting family should also help the graduates.
Unfortunately, in response to our original offer to new graduates, there was only a handful of female applicants. Therefore, I am making a concerted effort to redress the gender imbalance. I know there are talented young female sports graduates out there, and slowly but surely they are seeking us out, with the help of classy writers such as Alexandra Willis.
As a group of sports writers who live, breathe and love our profession, it does not take much to free up time to help the new breed who will keep us on our toes and help spread the TSC word into the bargain.
- Visit The Sport Collectivefor long-form features and fortnightly podcast, plus follow them on Twitter @sportcollective.
- The problem with punditry: The Sport Collective’s take on the standard of broadcasting from television’s football “experts”
UPCOMING SJA DATES
- Thu Aug 18: Lunch with Sir Clive Woodward, performance director of the BOA, on plans for the 2012 Olympics with just one year until the London Games. For booking details click here.
- Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
- Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates