12 Apps to Help You Thrive in Your Sports Internship

This article is a guest submission from Chelsy Ranard, recent journalism graduate from the University of Montana

apps for your sports internship
Working in sports is a dream for many, but can make for a very cumbersome schedule. These apps will help you keep everything organized (Photo courtesy: Penn State Athletics)
Working in sports is a dream for the sports fan. Whether it’s in sales, coaching, or media, people do not get into the sports field if they aren’t a fan of the industry.

For many sports journalism students, the sports reporting field is a great way to combine passion with entertainment and take part in a job that they will love going to everyday. Many journalism schools require internships for graduation; other media outlets require younger applicants to complete an internship before hire.

For interns jumping into the field as an unpaid, or barely paid, rookie, they can use all the help they can get. It involves knowing the industry in and out, working on a deadline, keeping things organized, staying productive, and utilizing social media.

Fortunately, there are many smartphone apps to aid in this adventure.

Start with the Dedicated Sports Apps

It should come as no surprise that sports interns should be aware of everything happening in sports.

Each internship is a little different; some outlets cover college, some only cover football or just one team, and some cover international sports. A sports intern should have an app where they can have easy access to schedules, scores, games, and articles covering their sports beat.

Having an application that can easily find statistics and information on their topic is incredibly helpful in the world of fast-paced sports journalism. For sports apps with live streaming, you’ll need a phone that can support Flash Players such as any Android or the iPhone 6 and up that have the retina HD display and capabilities. Here are a few helpful apps that involve sports information:

ESPN: Obviously this is the go-to app for sports. It covers professional and college sports, although you might need to bookmark your local sports if you’re covering smaller teams. This shows minute by minute scores, news, live video and audio streaming, and highlights.

Bleacher Report: This app is similar to ESPN in the coverage of many different types of sports, leagues, and teams. It also has a local team feature and has breaking news with push notifications.

Football Outsiders: This site is great for statistics and is referenced in many articles that you’ll find on the other sites. Unfortunately, it does not have an app, so it’ll have to be bookmarked on a browser, but it’s worth mentioning.

Manage Your Time More Effectively

As true with any sports internship, you have to find ways to keep your time managed and stay organized. This is especially true with journalism and even truer when dealing with sports.

Luckily, unlike some other types of reporters with sporadic beats, you know when your games are starting. Schedules are released far in advance and you have the ability to organize your time much more effectively than most reporters on a deadline with zero notice when a story breaks. This will be true for you as well, but not as often.

Make sure you organize your time by keeping the game block open, time afterwards to write, or record. Leave time for commuting, editing, and if interviews or press conferences go longer than expected. Listen to tips from other journalists on how to prioritize your tasks, and utilize these apps to help manage your time:

30/30: This is an app that makes task managing way easier. It’s simple, allows you to use gestures to control it, and times your tasks so you know exactly when your article needs to be written in time for editing or a deadline.

Remember the Milk: Remember the Milk is a list app to help keep track of the giant list of things you’ll need accomplish. You can use this for a shot list or a list of players to interview.

Wave: As for calendar apps, Wave is great for daily, weekly, and monthly scheduling. This will be great for scheduling games, meetings, and writing times in an easy way.

Boost Your Productivity

Remaining productive can be a tricky thing with so much going on in sports and media. There are distractions everywhere and – sometimes - having too much to do can lead to losing productivity because of feeling too overwhelmed.

apps for your sports internship
Photo Courtesy: Jason Howie
With chaos comes disorganization and this is one thing that many journalists have issues with. If someone has a ton of articles and interviews to be written it’s hard to keep them straight. And with the necessity of being on social media, it’s easy to become distracted and fall behind. There are many efficiency based apps to help keep yourself productive:

Forest: Forest is an app to keep focused. You tell it which sites you need to stay off of like Buzzfeed or Pinterest, and it’ll grow a tree for your effort. If you go on a distracting site, it kills your tree.

Evernote: Evernote is great for organizing your notes, articles, and research. Instead of keeping a document or spreadsheet with links to great information, store them easily on Evernote.

Pocket: Pocket combines the other two productivity apps to an extent. If you find an article you want to read, just add it to pocket so you don’t lose it or distract yourself from work.

Time to Get Social 

Social media has become a giant part of our personal lives, but it is also a great tool for the media as well. Knowing social media inside and out is an absolute necessity. Many breaking stories, sports or otherwise, are broken on Twitter before a traditional news outlet and many sports organizations, players, and fans all utilize social media in one way or another. Social media has drastically changed how sports are reported by journalists and consumed by fans.

Twitter: Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites utilized. Use Twitter for keeping with athletes, teams, and sharing stories with your readers. Build lists with the teams your cover and all of their players, it will be much easier to discover news as it happens this way.

Facebook: Facebook is another great social media tool for updating readers about events,   marketing yourself as well as your publication, and keeping track of your beat’s news.

Instagram: Instagram is a great way to utilize team photos, keep track of scores, and add your    own journalistic photos. This is a great way to connect with a younger audience as well.

Being able to work in sports is a great way to combine work with play. It’s not an easy field to get into or stay into, but the rewards are worth the hard work. For the intern entering the field for the first time it can be stressful, but take advice from other journalists in your outlet, utilize all the tools given to you, and don’t forget to use the available apps to your advantage.
By Brian Clapp | January 20, 2016
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