FISU encompasses more than university sport competitions and the Young Reporters Programme exemplifies this. During every Summer Universiade, 12 aspiring sports journalists are chosen to cover the 12 days of competition.
Since the programme began at the 2011 Summer Universiade, it has been a smashing success. The young journalists bring a fresh perspective to the storytelling medium. The students have full credential access to the Athletes' Village and competition venues, just like any other professional journalist. With this access, the young reporters have shown an uncanny ability to take audiences behind the scenes, discovering diamond-in-the-rough storylines.
Bringing Fresh Eyes and Energy to the Sports Journalism Game
The reporting skills young reporters acquire from reporting live to a television audience in hand, or having to write a feature story on a hard deadline is something that cannot be taught in the classroom.
Wanting to report in such a way that the words go from the sports section and grabs your audience’s attention is pressure similar to stepping into the Universiade arena on game day.
A Young Reporter Rising to the Challenge
During the 2015 Summer Universiade a student reporter from the Czech Republic, Lucie Hrdlickova, answered this challenge. The young reporter met in the stadium stands with the day’s silver medalist from the 100-meter hurdles, Michelle Jenneke of Australia.
Instead of just focusing the video interview on the Australian’s podium-winning performance, the young reporter chats with Jenneke on her attention-grabbing warm-up routine. The energy between the interviewer and athlete is infectious. The video goes viral.
Sports fans got to witness a young athlete basking in the glow of the Universiade. One of those watching and loving what they were seeing from the young reporter was the national Czech television channel, who hired Hrdlickova as a reporter after the Universiade.
For Student Reporters, School is Still in Session
While the afternoon and evenings at the Universiade are spent chasing down story leads and editing articles, the young reporters are not outside the school scene entirely. To accelerate the learning of best practices, student reporters attend morning lectures on media-related topics taught by sports reporting veterans.
What the Young Reporters Say About the Programme
By the end of the Universiade, the young reporters surely drank too much coffee to stay awake and probably skipped lunch a few times to get a scoop on a tasty story instead. The young journalists are unanimous as far as the experience goes: “It was awesome.”
Or, as the 2013 Summer Universiade young reporter from Australia, Thomas Dullard put it: “This was real life stuff, real life challenges with real deadlines. I would not hesitate telling any budding journalist to get involved with FISU.”
Young Reporters at the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade
The Young Reporters’ Programme for Taipei is a talented mix of 12 students and recent graduates. With a gender equal split of reporters from the five continents of Africa, America, Asia, Oceania and Europe, the team looks like a strong one to fill the airwaves and articles.
The journalists are expected to file three human interest topics a day, with Universiade sport competition only as a ‘fil rouge’ throughout the stories. In other words, no game reports!
For more on the Young Reporters Programme from Taipei, check out this document.
How do I apply for the 2019 Napoli Summer Universiade?
FISU will open the application process for the programme in 2018. Check back again later as we will update this site with information on how to apply. Also, follow us on twitter and facebook as we will first post the programme application here.