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    Journalism vs. Communications - Unraveling the Key Differences and Career Paths. Explore whether a specialised focus or a broad skill set is the best fit for your sports industry aspirations.  

    If you’re looking to break into the sports industry or advance your sports career, you may be considering a master’s in sports. Two of the most common degrees, Sports Journalism and Sports Communications, can be hard to differentiate. They sound similar and have overlapping elements, so does it matter which degree you pursue? We’ll break down some of the key differences between a Sports Journalism and Sports Communication degree, as well as who would be a good fit for each program.

    What is the goal of a Sports Journalism degree?

    In Sports Journalism bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, the goal is to become a Sports Journalist. Sports Journalists craft news about sports, whether in print or broadcast. Some common careers with a Sports Journalism degree include:

    • Sports Anchor reporting live updates and interviewing players
    • Sports Writer creating content for print or online news outlets
    • Sports Talk Show Host for a radio station
    • Sports Editor copy editing the work of a Sports Writer

      While they can work in a variety of media formats, all Sports Journalists work to provide detailed, accurate, and engaging news about the sports industry. As such, courses in a Sports Journalism program will center around journalism, reporting, and mass communication.


    What is Sports Communication?

    Sports Communication is a broader field that encompasses Sports Journalism. Students in a Sports Communication program have a wide range of career options, including:

    • Sports Journalist reporting on important events
    • Public Relations Manager engaging the target audience and managing communication crises as needed
    • Internal Communication Director ensuring that communication is effective within and across company departments
    • Social Media Specialist working to grow engagement and visibility through social media

      The goal of a Sports Communication degree is to teach students to be leaders of communication within the sports industry. Classes might focus on topics like public relations, mass communication, brand management, crisis communication, and more.


    Is one degree better than the other?

    The choice between a Sports Journalism degree and a Sports Communication degree depends upon your professional goals. 

    A Sports Journalism degree offers a deep, focused education about journalism within the sports industry. If you know you want a job within the Sports Journalism field and are not interested in broader communication roles, then a Sports Journalism degree is for you. Earning a graduate degree in Sports Journalism will allow you to grow your journalistic skills with more singular focus than a Sports Communication degree might. 

    While a Sports Journalism degree is more specialized and narrower in focus, a Sports Communication degree trains students to be communication generalists in the sports world. If you are interested in multiple different areas of the sports industry, a Sports Communication degree will give you a wide array of skills you can use to thrive in any number of roles. You will learn foundational skills in areas such as public relations, editing, conflict management, mass communication, etc. that will allow you to succeed in many different departments of Sports Communication. 

    Neither degree is inherently better; they simply have different goals. A Sports Journalism degree provides a narrow and deep education about one area of communication, while a Sports Communication degree offers a broad and more foundational training in a variety of communication areas. Both degrees are valuable, and knowing your professional goals will help you determine which program is the best fit for you.

    If you think a Sports Communication degree is the right choice for you, check out Emerson’s Sports Communication (MA) program website to learn how we equip students for success.

    Masters (1)Find more great articles to learn about the sports industry on our Learn: Knowledge Hub


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