By Pauline Theeuws
Over the summer, the university announced its new bachelor’s degree in sports media, one among several new programs, and many students already support it.
As the sports industry continues to evolve, students wish for a gold medal as they become experienced and receive a more specialized education for the growing media landscape.
“There is a lot of student demand for more academic focus on sports media because the industry and the job market continues to grow,” said Associate Professor of Journalism Aaron Moore. “Sports is no longer seen as a diversion; it’s a thriving industry that requires expertise.”
The new major was successfully introduced last spring with a course in sports reporting taught by Professor Chuck Bausman, which gave 11 students the opportunity to truly experience reporting live sports events.
“Students will learn how to communicate along multi-platforms using sports as their main focus,” Moore said. “They will learn to be better communicators, writers, videographers by using sports as the driving force behind their academic and professional development.”
This main focus is now made possible with the introduction of new communication courses in sports television and field production, sports multimedia reporting and sports feature writing.
The major also includes other communication, business and marketing courses, and requires 48 credits to graduate.
Even though the project of building a new major in sports media was first introduced two years ago, Moore sees few challenges as “the mindset about sports has changed.”
However, this new addition makes Rider one of the few schools within the New York and Philadelphia area to incorporate a sports media major into a communication and journalism program.
Moore shared his vision. “Our goal and our expectation is that Rider will be seen in the tri-state area as having an elite sports media program. Sports used to be considered the ‘toy box’ of news. It was seen as frivolous and not as important as other hard news. Now sports is considered a serious and important topic, a topic of substance. There are still some with an out-of-touch idea that sports is not important or worth analysis.”
As the internship coordinator, Moore also believes that the degree will be even more beneficial for future interns.
“Our students have done so well interning with pro and college sports programs, along with sports media outlets, that Rider is a known commodity in the industry as a place that produces prepared and talented students,” he said. “This new program will continue to give our students who have the name Rider University attached to them a boost in the internship and job market.”
If a team needs players to be successful, the introduction of a new major needs no less teamwork. The project was made possible with the help of multiple faculty members, including Professor of Communication Pamela Brown, Assistant Professor of Communication Shawn Kildea, Professor of Communication Barry Janes, Assistant Professor of Communication Jackie Incolingo and Moore as well as Vice President for Enrollment Management Jamie O’Hara.
The new bachelor’s degree in sports media will officially enter the game on Sept. 7 when all classes start.