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Feb 15 / Shawn Tighe

Sportswriting isn’t just fan scribbling: It takes time and research

Shawn TigheBefore I joined Bleacher Report as an intern, I thought I knew a lot about sports. It’s been four weeks since I began the Sportswriting Internship, and I’ve learned that knowing about sports and writing about sports are two different things.

Writing for Bleacher Report isn’t just ranting your sports opinions in a public forum the same way you would in a private conversation with your friends. As a writer, you must uphold a certain level of professionalism yet at the same time remain interesting so your readers keep coming back for more.

Remaining professional means you can’t spew out only your opinion onto the page. You need concrete facts and opinions of others to complete your argument. Finding these facts and opinions takes a significant amount of time and research, much more than I ever thought.

Aspiring sportswriters, writing about sports for living isn’t all fun and no work. Now, spending your time researching and learning about sports beats many other jobs, but it still takes a lot of work and a tough stomach. People are not always going to agree with you, and they’ll criticize your writing, credibility and knowledge. You must take a step back and not take their comments personally.

It’s a long road to becoming a professional sportswriter and I still have a long way to go. But with the help of the whole Bleacher Report staff and the writing lessons they have provided me so far, I am one step closer to achieving my goal.

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Shawn Tighe is an intern in the Winter Class. Follow him on Twitter @Stighe05 

This is the first entry in a new series we’re calling One Thing You Need to Know, in which we ask our interns to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned in the B/R Sportswriting Internship that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.