Canadian university launches bachelor’s degree in sports media

Ryerson University, one of Canada’s top journalism schools, has announced the creation of the country’s first bachelor’s degree specifically geared towards sports media.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | November 28, 2013

The university is located in downtown Toronto, Canada’s biggest and most vibrant city. In addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs (National Hockey League), the city is also home to Canada’s only National Basketball Association (Toronto Raptors) and Major League Baseball (Toronto Blue Jays) teams. The city also has the FC Toronto of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. The result: plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in a variety of roles.

According to the university’s official announcement, the four-year Bachelor of Arts in Sports Media will focus on five pillars: production, marketing, management, theory, and sports journalism. First-year courses will be in conjunction with the pre-existing Radio and Television Arts program, with separate labs for the Sports Media students. Second year will feature socio-economic elements. The final two years will include production, legal aspects, and practical theory courses. Students will have the option to minor in business, with those courses being sports-focused as well.

The program was created and refined by a program advisory committee that included some of the most recognizable names in Canadian media, amongst them, national broadcaster Jim Hughson, and president of Rogers Broadcasting Scott Moore.

The degree presents itself as the first of its kind in North America. No other university currently offers a four year degree solely focused on sports media, though schools including the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University offer a sports journalism specialization.

What this means for Canadian sports fans is higher quality of their sports coverage. Instead of reading or watching journalists trained to cover different areas of the industry, their sports coverage will come from professionals trained to report and present sports.

The program is set to begin in September 2014.

The previous option for Canadians wanting to specialize in sports journalism was to attend the Canadian College of Sports Media, which offers a two-year diploma program.

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