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Sports Media

Sports journalism has come a long way from its roots in game coverage and analysis. With the evolution of digital media and niche outlets, there are more opportunities than ever for talented journalists passionate about sports journalism. And many of the top sports journalists today are Medill alumni, from Mike Wilbon and Christine Brennan to J.A. Adande and Mike Greenberg.

About the specialization

Students at the Chicago White Sox stadium

Professional sports is a multibillion dollar industry that involves business, entertainment, lifestyle and a host of other related topics. From stadium financing to personal scandals to the rise and fall of dynasties, there’s no limit to the number and type of stories you’ll pursue as a sports journalist. Few journalistic disciplines afford the range that sports writing does: deadline journalism, features, profiles, investigative, historical and first-person pieces, all with multimedia components.

You can choose to start the Sports Media specialization in the summer or fall quarter.

Why Sports Media?

Sports coverage is among the most widely consumed journalism around, with many professional athletes afforded celebrity status and professional teams raking in huge profits. Many fans are almost as passionate about media coverage of their teams than they are about the teams themselves. Colorful personalities and egos abound from the court and the field to the front office and beyond, giving sports journalists ample fodder.

What will I learn?

You’ll explore all of the sports genres through reading, lecture and discussion, and hone your writing skills in a peer workshop format. Because sports doesn’t happen in the classroom, you’ll have front-row access to both sports media professionals and the athletes they cover. Past trips have included visits to the Washington Wizards and the Orlando Magic and meetings at ESPN and The Washington Post.

When your work is published by clients of Medill News Service, you’ll develop a professional journalism portfolio that will help advance your career. You’ll also be paired with a mentor who’s part of Medill’s extensive alumni network. Your mentor will provide coaching and career advice throughout your program.

For more information, watch a recorded information session about the Sports Media program.

Your Medill Experience

Students visiting a sports TV network

Curriculum

Our faculty include leading national sports journalists who teach you the ins and outs of reporting from the field, locker room, press box and broadcast booth. 

Learn about the curriculum
Chicago skyline at sunset

Chicago

Chicago has some of the most memorable teams in history and a thriving mix of professional and collegiate sports. From the Bears, Bulls,  and the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, to the White Sox, Blackhawks, MLS's Chicago Fire and WNBA's Chicago Sky.

Learn about Medill's Chicago campus
Students at the Super Bowl

Medill Explores

Medill Explores allows you to spend a week immersed in your specialization. Previous sports opportunities have included reporting from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, experiencing a Denver Nuggets game as a reporter and covering events before the Super Bowl in San Francisco.

Learn about Medill Explores
Photo collage of the many things happening in Chicago for Medill Fridays.

Medill Fridays

We welcome renowned journalists to campus to talk with students, expand their skills and discuss careers, and we host workshops as part of this program. 

Learn about Medill Fridays
Close up photo of hands typing on laptop.

Career Services

In addition to traditional news outlets, sports media pros may find career opportunities at non-mainstream media organizations and in marketing communications roles at sports franchises and related organizations. Medill alumni are in top positions in sports media outlets across the country, and you’ll tap into that network as you launch your career.

Learn about Career Services

Our Faculty

J.A. Adande

J.A. Adande (BSJ92)

Adande was a columnist for ESPN.com for nine years, covering the NBA as well as working as a sideline reporter for NBA games, and he served as a panelist for ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” He has brought his knowledge, talent and network home to his alma mater where he directs our sports media specialization.

Christine Brennan

Christine Brennan (BSJ80, MSJ81)

A professor of practice at Medill, Brennan is award-winning sports columnist for USA Today and a commentator for "ABC News," "PBS NewsHour," CNN and National Public Radio. She also is a best-selling author and a nationally known speaker.

Michael Wilbon

Michael Wilbon (BSJ80)

Wilbon is co-host of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" and a professor of practice at Medill. Prior to joining ESPN full-time, Wilbon enjoyed a 30-year career at The Washington Post, including 20 years as a sports columnist.

Our Alumni

Lynden Ostrander (MSJ14)

Lynden Ostrander
National Writer and Content Creator
MaxPreps of CBS Sports

Ostrander writes articles and curates content for this top-tier publication.

Rachel Nichols (BSJ95)

Rachel Nichols
Host
"The Jump" on ESPN

Nichols has reported for various ESPN shows. She has also reported for CNN and The Washington Post.

Mitch Goldich (MSJ14)

Mitch Goldich
Social Media Producer
Sports Illustrated

Goldich helps manage Sports Illustrated's social media feeds and works on podcasts and videos.