Sports news agency Hayters Teamwork has launched a sports journalism training scheme.
The students will mainly cover football and will be taught how to write news, features and match reports, cover press conferences and learn about sports broadcasting.
The month-long course will run every July and August and will take on eight students, who are expected to already have some local newspaper experience or college training. It will cost £2,000.
Chief executive Gerry Cox said: “Hayters has long been a training ground for Fleet Street sports writers and at the moment we are inundated with people wanting work experience. Now we are putting it on a commercial basis and doing a finishing school. As far as we know, no one else does this. We want to train them so they can work at a national level.”
The agency is also forming a partnership with the Professional Footballers’ Association to recruit players who can no longer earn a living in the game.
Cox said: “Five hundred footballers went out of work this year. We have already had three come to work for us, including James Paniyi from Watford and Warren Haughton from Leicester. The PFA is very excited about it. One thing it has is a lot of money for retraining players.
“The things we look for in our journalists are enthusiasm, knowledge of the sport and literacy. Our view is that if you can’t get paid to play football, then the next best thing is to watch it and write about it. There is a resistance within the industry to ex-sportsmen becoming journalists because they think they are taking their jobs. But there’s no reason why these players can’t be the next generation of sports journalists.”
By Mary Stevens