YOUNG REPORTERS PROGRAMME

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WORLD-CLASS EXPERIENCE AT A MULTI-SPORT EVENT

 

The Young Reporters Programme exemplifies FISU's commitment to more than sport competitions. At every World University Games, 12 aspiring college sports journalists are chosen to cover the 12 days of competition.

 

The International University Sports Federation launched this journalism education programme to provide young sports journalists with a unique training experience during FISU’s major multi-sport events, the Summer and Winter Universiades. While this is an education programme, it is organised and conducted by the FISU Media department, under the Media and Communication Committee.  

 

After the inaugural edition of the FISU Young Reporters Programme in 2011 at the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, People's Republic of China and the successful editions during the Summer Universiades in Kazan 2013, Gwangju 2015 and Taipei 2017, FISU hosted its fifth Young Reporters Programme group for the first time at a Winter Universiade during the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade. 

 

The Young Reporters Programme aims to take journalism students or recent graduates in the fields of journalism and communications from the continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Europe that are between 21-to-25 years of age right into the heart of the mutli-sport event for 12 days, with full access to the competition venues and the Main Press Centre. Over these 12 days, participants are immersed in a multi-cultural learning experience that challenges them in many different ways.

 

At each Universiade, the international Young Reporter attendess are joined by 12 journalism peers from the host nation. All Young Reporters had both general and specialized training in various aspects of reporting and the coverage of major events such as the Universiade. The course will look at what makes a good human interest story, how to tell it informatively and entertainingly, when to look for more background detail and why accuracy and fairness still remain the cornerstones of reporting.

 

Since it began at the Summer Universiade 2011, the Young Reporters Programme has been a smashing success. The young journalists bring a fresh perspective to the storytelling medium. The students have full credential access to the Athlete Village and competition venues, just like any other professional journalist. With this access, the young reporters have shown an uncanny ability to take audiences behind the scenes, discovering diamond-in-the-rough storylines.

 

 

 

Bringing Fresh Eyes and Energy to the Sports Journalism Game 

The skills young reporters build by reporting live to a television audience or from having to write a feature story on a hard deadline is something that cannot be taught in the classroom. Wanting to report in such a way that the words go from the sports section and grabs your audience's attention is pressure similar to stepping into the Universiade arena on game day.

 

A Young Reporter Rising to the Challenge

During the Summer Universiade 2015 a student reporter from the Czech Republic, Lucie Hrdlickova, answered this challenge. In the stadium stands, the young reporter met with the day's silver medalist in the 100-meter hurdles, Michelle Jenneke of Australia.

 

Instead of just focusing the video interview on the Australian’s podium-winning performance, the young reporter chatted with Jenneke about her attention-grabbing warm-up routine. The energy between the interviewer and athlete was infectious. The video then went viral – on YouTube alone, it racked up over half a million views. Among those watching and loving what they saw, was the national Czech television channel, who went onto hire Hrdlickova as a reporter after the Universiade.

 

 

 

 

For Student Reporters, School is Still in Session

While the afternoon and evenings at the Universiade are spent chasing down story leads and editing articles, the young reporters are not outside the school scene entirely. To accelerate the learning of best practices, student reporters attend morning lectures on media-related topics taught by sports reporting veterans.

 

Where are the young reporters now? 

After five editions of the programme (Shenzhen 2011, Kazan 2013, Gwangju 2015, Taipei 2017, Krasnoyarsk 2019), the value of the Young Reporters Programme is validated by the trajectory of many of these then-aspiring media careers. Alumni now lead key functions in the media and communication industry, such as producer at FOX TV Australia, communication director at a National Olympic Committee, reporter at the Toronto Star and a press officer at a national university sports federation, to name a few.

 

«My career in sports media is due in large to my participation in the YRP program. It’s so hard to get real journalism experience when you’re in school, and not only was the YRP program an experience, it was one of the greatest experiences I could have ever asked for. It prepared me for the real, fast paced world of sports journalism, from interviewing to editing and from mixed zones to press conferences.There’s nowhere on earth I could have gotten an experience even close to the one I did with YRP, and I’m so happy I did because I love the job that it led to.»

Kelcey Wright (CAN) – Alumnus YRP Kazan 2013

 

 

What's next?

The next edition of the Young Reporters Programmw will approximately be held in 2021. Applications will open about six months ahead of the event. For more information, please contact media@fisu.net.

 

Young Reporters Programme Application Booklet (past edition)