If you’re thinking about becoming a sporting journalist, look no further. We chatted to Rebecca Knight (@RebeccaKnight01), currently a freelance football journalist for a variety of online publications. We found out what the best and worst part of her job is, what to do if you’re thinking of choosing the same career path and what she thinks is going to be the biggest sporting news of the summer!
Q. When did you decide that you wanted to be a football journalist?
I actually started blogging for a website called The Busby Way for free one summer a couple of years ago. It was literally like falling into a job you realise you’re perfect for and should have been considering all along! It’s actually a question I get asked a lot and like Chelsea in Munich, I think it was written in the stars!!
Q. Which publications do you work for now and what do you mainly write about?
I work for a few sites, because I freelance I could literally be writing about some breaking news or a transfer article. I started writing for Football Fancast when I did my Sn&ck Media internship and that was general articles. Now I write a lot of transfer articles for the Transfer Tavern and do odd pieces for Sn&ck Media’s other sites. I also write feature pieces for SoccerBible and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of creative freedom for them.
Q. Do you find people are surprised that you know a lot about football, considering the fact that you’re a female?
Constantly. It’s not just football, its sport in general I love. I think some people initially struggle to get their head around the fact I could literally sit there all day and watch match after match of football no matter what the league or level!! I used to really take it to heart if someone would comment on an article telling me to get back to the kitchen but now I take it as a complement if all they can comment on is my gender or hair colour.
Q. Describe a typical day in the life of a football journalist.
It would obviously depend on who you wrote for and if you were freelance / internet press or newspaper based. I work from home unless I have a match to go to or have an interview which I would obviously travel for. I also go down to the Soccerbible offices on occasion just for meetings and to catch up. These days with Skype its literally possible to work from everywhere so being up north isn’t a problem thank god!! I usually get up and read the papers and sporting sites and then begin my work for the Transfer Tavern. That’s almost every day even weekends and then I plan my soccerbible articles and have a think about what I can write for them which is three times a week usually but of course research goes into that and takes a lot of time.
During the season I try and get to as many matches as I can and obviously watch others on TV just so I know what is going on all the time and what I should be looking to write about. It’s never ending really!!!
Q. What’s the best part about your job?
Imposing my views on the masses!! On a serious note, just being able to write about what I love and getting paid for it. Sometimes I think its quite surreal! I still feel guilty sending invoices off!!
Q. And the worst?
Having to say nice things about Barcelona. I feel like I’m being an anti madridista!!
Q. What’s been your favourite footballing event to report about?
It is a toss up between Chelsea’s road to Munich and of course their epic win in the final for the emotion of it all and the fact it was so long coming and anything Mourinho related really. I love the guy and the quotes he comes out with! Also Fergie retiring made headlines and is still doing so which of course has been fantastic for me.
Q. Which story do you think is going to be the biggest sporting news of the summer?
Footballing wise I think obviously Fergie has gone, Mourinho is back and that won’t be forgotten quickly and then of course we have the constant transfer speculation. There is the potential for some pretty sensational ones ie Bale to Real, Rooney’s future and what will Cesc do now. Of course it could well be that none of the above take place and we start the season with only Mourinho to write about – but I doubt it!
Outside of football, Nadal of course has just won his 8th record breaking Roland Garros and of course that will make headlines and rightly so. What a sensational achievement for the King of clay!!
Q. What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming a sports journalist?
Do it!! A journalism degree isn’t essential but you have to be able to write (shockingly) also don’t give up, don’t be discouraged and keep plugging away. Get your own blog, send articles out to everyone and use social media- it’s a fantastic platform to showcase your work to the right people!
Q. Finally, and most importantly, Bale for Madrid?
Yes. It’s a case of when not if for me. This summer – probably not. I think an extended contract doubling his wages and a massive release clause will be signed and then a move to Madrid next summer. That being said this is football and anything could happen!! I’m willing to put it out there now – Bale and Real will be a much more successful and better partnership than Barcelona and Neymar.