Andrew Jones talks about his time studying Sports Journalism
BA (Hons) Sports Journalism graduate, Andrew Jones tells us how he combined his passion for sport and writing to make a career out of them
In his final year, Andrew applied for a number of roles in order to prepare himself for life after graduation. In fact, he was midway though covering the 2019 Netball World Cup on his graduation day and a couple of days later, covered the final between New Zealand and Australia. Shortly after this, one of Andrew’s UCLan lecturers got in touch and told him about a US-based company called The Athletic which was coming to the UK to cover football. Andrew followed this up and secured a role as Club Writer (Burnley Correspondent) at the company, less than a month after graduating.
Andrew’s role at The Athletic is to cover news relating to Burnley Football Club. This includes writing news stories, features, covering interviews with past and current players, producing analytical pieces and reporting on every match.
Andrew loved his time at UCLan and used the experience to learn, develop and enhance his skills so that he was employable as possible when he graduated. He undertook work experience placements at Preston North End Football Club, JMG Media, Chelsea F.C. and the BBC, all of which provided him with the insight into the job of being a journalist. Andrew said:
"My work experience at Chelsea will always stay with me as it was such an amazing experience and opportunity. My work was produced in the club magazine and matchday programmes and I was able to interview Tariq Lamptey and Chelsea legend, Tore Andre Flo"— Andrew Jones, BA (Hons) Sports Journalism graduate
When asked what advice he’d give to students, Andrew said: “Don’t waste the three years you spend at University. Try absolutely everything on the course because you pick up valuable skills in so many different areas of the industry. Don’t cut corners on assignments, think about them in detail, think about the story you want to tell and give yourself time to complete it.”
He continued: “Try and get as much experience as you can as it gets your name out there and gives you further insight into the industry. Don’t limit yourself to one sport, try and build your knowledge of multiple sports. For example, my favourite sport is football but for my assignments I covered basketball, cycling, golf, diving and more. My final project was a documentary on netball. Being able to cover a variety of sports intelligently is a valuable skill to have.”
As part of his course, Andrew was also given the opportunity to interview a range of sports professionals including boxer Rocky Fielding, Olympians Ross Cullen and Anthony Harding, as well as members of the England Netball World Cup Squad. He also achieved the Gold National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Award and won the Matthew Hesketh Award, which is awarded to the best performing student in the first two years of the course.
Reflecting on his time at University, Andrew commented:
"I look back on so many small things which were part of my University journey with fondness. All the hard work, the long nights and the hours spent editing and proof-reading paid off. When I submitted my final pieces of work I could reflect proudly on how far I had come in my three years at UCLan"— Andrew Jones, BA (Hons) Sports Journalism graduate