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Then and Now: Sports Writer of the Year 2015 Ryan Bailey

Sports Writer of the Year 2015, Ryan Bailey

Sports Journalist for, Ryan Bailey graduated from Griffith College with a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Visual Media in 2015. In his final year, he was named the Sports Writer of the Year at the Student Media Awards. In 2018, he featured on the Sport for Business 30 Under 30, a list that highlights those who are believed to be the next sporting leader's in Ireland. We touched base with Ryan to see what his journey has been like during his Griffith experience and what’s happened since then. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I have been working for Journal Media Limited for four years, having started on a part-time basis during my final year studying in Griffith College, before being made full-time upon the completion of my third-year exams in May 2015. While my work across a number of sports -- such as hockey, cricket and athletics -- has been recognised, I primarily cover rugby as part of The42’s award-winning coverage of the international, club and schools game. My working week largely involves attending press conferences, media events and matches.

The Journalism Journey

Choosing a course to study is always a difficult task for any Leaving Certificate student, but I was fortunate in the sense that I had developed a clear focus of what I wanted to do, and this enabled me to progress my career from a relatively early age.

Cognisant of the fact experience is as important as a degree in the media industry, I started gaining experience during my final years in secondary school -- I attended St Andrew’s College -- and this developed into freelance work with RTÉ Online and, among other publications.

Studying Journalism and Visual Media in Griffith College then provided the springboard for the next stage of my development. In second year, I applied to ESPN UK -- one of the biggest sports media companies in the world -- to live and work in London for four months, gaining the sort of invaluable experience I knew would stand out on my CV. 


"I spent four months working in London for ESPN, covering events such as the 2014 World Cup, the Open and Wimbledon, while developing contacts and applying and fine-tuning skills I had learned in the lecture halls and classrooms of Griffith College."


On my return to Dublin in September 2014 to begin my third and final year in Griffith College, I was offered a part-time position in The42, and have been there ever since.

In 2015, I was named Sports Writer of the Year at the Student Media Awards as well as the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Young Journalist of the Year. It was a huge honour to receive both of these accolades.

In 2018, I was named on the Sport for Business 30 Under 30, a list highlighting individuals who will be among the next generation of Ireland’s sporting leaders, while also receiving a nomination for a Football Association of Ireland [FAI] Communications Award.

The Stand Out Achievement

Being named Sports Writer of the Year in 2015 was a big honour as Griffith College has a great record of success at the Student Media Awards and it was fantastic to be able to continue that. I had also been nominated for the award in my first year at Griffith College, so to win it in second year was brilliant and it’s still one of my proudest achievements. As part of the application, I had to submit three feature articles for the judges’ consideration, many of whom are sports editors with national publications, including The Irish Examiner’s Tony Leen. As I said, it was a real honour to receive this award and it almost certainly provided me with further incentive to work as hard as I could to get to where I wanted to be.

The Griffith Experience

When filling out my CAO, I was considering a number of journalism courses in all Dublin based college's. These courses stood out as live options, my decision was made after attending an open day at Griffith College, as I was immediately impressed by the college’s facilities and the enthusiasm and experience of the lecturers, many of whom are former or current journalists. 

"The Journalism and Visual Media course, as the name suggests, combines both the written and visual strands of media and this instantly appealed to me. While writing was always my passion, I was particularly keen to develop other skills, such as video editing, radio presenting and photography. There is no doubt having that knowledge has helped me during my career so far." 


Ryan's Road Travelled 

In the last four years, I have not only got to cover some of the biggest sporting events -- such as the 2016 Rio Olympics -- but witness incredible sporting moments, namely Ireland’s recent victory over the All Blacks and Grand Slam win at Twickenham.

In my role, every day is a huge opportunity and it’s something I do not take for granted, instead, there is an unwavering motivation and commitment to improve as a journalist. I am ambitious to continue making positive steps in my career development. 

From One Journalist to Another

My one piece of advice to prospective students, and indeed anyone who is pursuing a career in journalism, is to use their time in Griffith College to their advantage. It’s easy to be satisfied by completing the assignments and passing the exams, but if you really want something, you will go above and beyond to achieve it. 

Experience is key and by attending Griffith College, you will get the exposure to the sort of environments you will be thrown into in the media industry, such as radio studios, live camera shoots, editing suites and newsrooms. You need to put your skills into practice and Griffith College, and its lecturers, allow you to do so. 


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