Quinnipiac to get sports reporting graduate degree

By on February 7, 2012

Quinnipiac’s graduate journalism program is about to step up its game.

The School of Communications will add two new journalism tracks next fall, one focusing on sports. However, while there will be new sports areas of study, the addition is not a new degree.

“It’s a track graduate students can select in our journalism program,” Director of the Graduate Program in Journalism Richard Hanley said. Hanley likened the new program to the print and broadcast tracks undergraduate students can choose from now.

Graduate students in the new program will graduate after one year with a master’s degree in journalism with a focus in sports reporting, according to Hanley.

The move comes at a time when sports media is booming in the region, and it only makes sense for Quinnipiac to expand its program, Hanley said.

“We are, at Quinnipiac, uniquely located within a cluster,” Hanley said. “We have this extraordinary area of sports media venues, and we aim to prepare students to succeed in this area.”

From Boston to Philadelphia, the area surrounding Quinnipiac is home to many sports networks, including: NESN, ESPN, YES, NBC, MSG, SNY and the NHL, MLB and NBA networks. Quinnipiac has already established relationships with these networks. Some presently employ QU graduate journalism students, while others have hired Quinnipiac alumni.

“We are excited about the substantial relationships we are going to have with these major sports networks,” Hanley said.

Adjuncts in the new sports program will be top-level personnel in their field and can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Quinnipiac’s community, according to Hanley.

The sports track’s format will be identical to the current graduate journalism program, offering courses across the disciplines of print, broadcast and multimedia journalism, according to Hanley. The new track allows students to focus on the world of sports within the field of journalism through hands-on classes.

Courses in the new program will be tightly focused and will demand the best of all students. One course will be a six-credit clinical workshop that simulates a real newsroom, Hanley said. Students will make decisions and create stories based on their own discretion and will need to work together to create the best product. The newsroom will be monitored, but not led, by an instructor.

Focus in the sports program will expand past the traditional four sports of baseball, basketball, football and hockey, and will prepare students to report on growing sports such as Mixed Martial Arts, the X Games, the Olympics and other action sports.

“We’re offering these special areas because we believe it will help students succeed,” Hanley said.

Graduate students will also learn to report on sports from more than just a game’s angle. Hanley said he wants students to see beyond the game and “cover sports as a deeply human, deeply emotional activity, one that impacts those around the world.”

Quinnipiac is also bringing in new technologies and gives students access to some of the top gear in the industry. GoPro HD cameras will be available to give students new visual angles to work into their pieces. The cameras are small and ideal for focusing on athletes for crisp, first-person shots.

“Our goal is to be as innovative as possible with technology and ideas,” Hanley said. “We’re like athletes ourselves in that way, looking at game film.”

The new one-year track will be offered beginning in this fall, but could become its own degree program in future years. The school will also add a long-form journalism track in the fall, focusing on documentaries, magazine writing and investigative reporting.

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About Daniel Grosso

Associate News Editor
Email: news@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @Daniel_Grosso
Year: 2013
Major: Print journalism
Hometown:Avon, Conn.
Dream Job: Reporter for ESPN