Sports Reporting Students Gain Real-World Experience Outside of the Classroom


KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 13, 2015)By: Amelia Queen, writer for Pipeline magazine

Trembling as one tries to form a coherent question to ask representatives from the Atlanta Hawks, students taking Sports Journalism at Kennesaw State University learn to get past their fear of interviewing while gaining real-world experience. Dr. Carolyn Carlson and Jay Clemons a professional sports journalist, teach students taking this course the skills they will need to become effective journalists once they graduate.

This course, currently known as COM 4300 or “Topics in Journalism”, will be known as Jour 4412 in the fall of 2016 with the creation of the new Journalism major. Students in this class were given the opportunity to add valuable writing and recording samples to their portfolios of communication work. In fall 2015, this class had the opportunity to cover a Georgia Tech Football game, a Kennesaw State Football game and an Atlanta Hawks game. While on assignment at the Atlanta Hawks game, students participated in a press conference where they were given press passes and treated like professional journalists.

“These students are learning skills that many people don’t have the opportunity to learn until they are thrown out into the field their first day on the job,” said Clemons. “So while they may be nervous and shaking doing interviews at the beginning of this course, once they finish the semester they will have the skills they need to conduct any kind of interview in sports. After taking this class, there is nothing these students won’t be able to accomplish.”

Skills that students of Sports Journalism have learned this semester are not limited to interviewing skills; they have also covered assignments in video, radio and writing. One assignment students were challenged to complete was one in which they recorded a 2-3 minute interview on their cellphones. They record themselves with a tripod. Interviews must be recorded at a sports location and then edited using applications on the students’ phones. Carlson said that this is an important skill for students to learn, especially in a growing age of smartphones and instant news. Carlson also said that if students are able to record interviews themselves and edit the recordings all from their phones then they have made themselves even more valuable to a future employer.

Want to learn more about our sports journalism course? You can read the complete story and access video footage of student interviews in our upcoming issue of Pipeline magazine, which will be published in December.