NUIG officially launches MA in Sports Journalism & Communications

By Declan Harte

NUI Galway launched Ireland’s first MA in Sports Journalism and Communications on Tuesday.

The launch event featured a panel of Ireland’s leading sports journalists who spoke about their careers.

Keith Duggan, chief sports writer with the Irish Times; Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, the host of Rugbai Beo on TG4, and Mike Finnerty of the Mayo News and Sky Sports, spoke at the launch of what will be a “world-leading programme in journalism.”  

Course co-director Sean Crossan spoke of the aims and goals of the course at the launch: “It’s about providing them with experience of radio, of broadcast, of print journalism and the skills required in those areas.”

“But also a deeper understanding of sports and of the major issues in sports and possibilities in sports and that’s part of the reason why we’ve integrated not just a module in sports journalism specifically but also modules that look at the broader world of sport… Including bringing new research in sport, from medicine, from psychology, from business and sport and the broader area of film and media,” Mr Crossan said.

He explained the decision behind introducing a separate sports-based degree as a natural next step for the university, explaining that the demand is there for sports journalism: “It’s the area that we’ve had consistently the most interest expressed among students coming in and going out of the programme.” 

Mr Crossan added: “Perhaps, in terms of specific aspects of journalism the area that has grown most over the last 15-20 years, and in which there are more opportunities perhaps as well in terms of not just print journalism, broadcast journalism, radio, podcasting, social media, online blogs and so on.”

Panelist Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill said: “Anyone with an interest in sport will get a lot out of this course, especially sports journalism having people with such experience as the panelists we had here today…“I think they [students] will benefit from the range of experience that the lecturers, the guest lecturers have, to be able to hear from where they came from and how they lived the job day to day and the experience they have garnered.”

“I think it’s a very exciting course and I’m really excited to be involved,” she added.

The course officially begins next September, with applications now open.

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