San Diego State University College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take: Advanced Topics in Journalism (Sports Journalism)

Q&A with Jim Trotter about JMS 527

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take: Advanced Topics in Journalism (Sports Journalism)

Jim Trotter will teach JMS 527: Advanced Topics in Journalism (Sports Journalism)

by PSFA Stories Team

July 1, 2021

In this series, we’ve asked instructors to talk about their new, unusual, or little-known PSFA classes that you can take in Fall 2021.​

Jim Trotter

JMS 527: Advanced Topics in Journalism (Sports Journalism)

Units: 3

Prerequisites: JMS 300 with a grade of C (2.0) or better. Admission to the journalism major.

Online or Face to Face: Primarily in person, but some online use as well.

How I would describe this class to someone I met in line at the coffee cart:

As an opportunity to learn what it’s like - and what it takes - to be a successful journalist, with input from some of the leading journalists, athletes, coaches and executives in the business.

Who should definitely take this class?

Anyone serious about becoming a sportswriter.

Why I’m enthusiastic about teaching this class:

There continues to be a misconception about what a sportswriter is. Some believe it’s all fun and games. Although true at times, sportswriting is so much more than that. I am excited to help provide students with the necessary tools to succeed in the profession. Beyond that, I want them to have a clear understanding of where the business has been and where it is going.

Why I love this subject:

I love storytelling, which is what sportswriting is at its core. While many focus on the finished product, there is beauty in the process, and we will explore that as a class.

How I’m preparing for this class:

There’s an adage which says: When you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. I kid to a degree, but the truth is that each day spent as a working journalist prepares me for this class.

Three things you’ll learn/do in this class:

You will learn the differences between beat reporting, column writing, and feature writing.

You will get practical experience by reporting and writing on deadline.

You will learn the keys to relationship building by interviewing actual athletes and executives.

Top three reasons you should study with me:

Students will get an inside look at what it’s *really* like to be a sports journalist.

Reporters from top media outlets such as ESPN, NFL Network, and Yahoo!, will join us as guest speakers.

We will work hard but have fun doing it.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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