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Review // Sean Fletcher and Samantha Johnson sports journalism guest panel

Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
27 May 2014

On Tuesday 20 May London College of Communication welcomed sports journalists Sean Fletcher and Samantha Johnson for a guest panel. The topic of discussion was how to get into sports broadcasting; BA (Hons) Sports Journalism student Stephen Kilbey reports.

Persistence and hard work are the keys to kicking off a career in sports broadcasting.

That was the key message delivered by Good Morning Britain sports presenter Sean Fletcher and Sun+ football host Samantha Johnson during a guest panel at LCC.

Hosted by Charlene White, the event was aimed at giving media students a valuable insight into what it takes to succeed in today’s fast moving and highly competitive broadcasting industry.

“You have to bust a gut,” said Johnson, who began her career as a researcher at Sky Sports after moving from Birmingham to London to pursue her TV career dreams. “Do everything you can to make yourself indispensable. I had to make tea for a long time. The degree I got helped, but all the work I put in after helped more.”

“Networking is so important. There are so many events, with so many journalists at them. You have to do a lot of CV bombing. If you are very serious about get advice from people, just follow through with what you are asked to do. Editors will remember that. Don’t make anyone angry!”

Fletcher also moved across the country to Wales in an attempt to land a job, and told students to seize any chance they get: “Eventually you may just get a break, it doesn’t matter what it is, you have to do it,” he said.

The 40-year-old graduate from King’s College London has enjoyed a fruitful career after deciding to shift his aim from the music industry shortly after his time at university. Both he and Johnson agreed that there are more job opportunities in broadcasting than ever before thanks to digital technology and the proliferation of channels and websites. However, Fletcher added those increased opportunities go hand-in-hand with a sense of unpredictability about how the media industry will develop.

“We just don’t know,” he admitted. “Look at Netflix, and what that has done to the way we watch TV. I think more content will go behind paywalls. There is a lot in the idea that you pay a subscription for a channel or service individually.”

Johnson added: “I think a lot of things are going to go in-house, it makes far more sense financially. Having your own team, going out, filming – people won’t outsource anymore.

“That’s what I think is going to happen, and it’s you they are going to be employing.”