sports gazette

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY: Emma Paton on Sky Sports News and the sporting life

Published: 30 May 2017

Continuing our ‘Inside the Industry’ series, Sports Gazette met former St. Mary’s student Emma Paton to talk Sky Sports News, work experience and balancing work with a sporting lifestyle.

Career Path

Sept 2010- Sept 2012: Sports Journalism MA, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham

Dec 2012- Dec 2013: Digital Media Co-ordinator, Sky Sports News

Dec 2013- Present: Production Sub-editor & Digital Journalist, Sky Sports News

There’s always a sense of awe when you walk into Sky Sports News’ Osterley base. I was lucky enough to experience this for two weeks on a work placement in March.

Imagine doing it every day- that’s what Emma Paton gets to do!

A part-time student on the St. Mary's Sports Journalism MA, Emma went on to work at Sky Sports News within three months of finishing the course.

Emma puts a lot of this down to the experience she gained on the course.

“During the MA I also did plenty of work experience, including an internship at the British Olympic Association, before and during the London Olympics,” Emma said.

Emma has learnt even more at Sky Sports News, but what has been the most valuable lesson from her time there?

“One valuable piece of advice is that there’s no such thing as a stupid question,” Emma said.

“Even now, everything I do is the vision of my producer. It’s how he wants it to look, so I would constantly be asking questions.

“I say the same thing to work experience people. They say they were scared to ask another question- just ask as many questions as you like."

One valuable piece of advice is that there’s no such thing as a stupid question

Emma got into sports journalism through her sporting achievements. Having competed at national level in 400m, she has had injury problems in recent years.

However, the ambition is still there, hoping to be back early next year with the aim to compete in Tokyo.

Emma said: “I'm very passionate about the work I do at Sky Sports News and my athletics, so at the moment they fill up a lot of my time!

“The hard part is really fitting training around my shifts. Working on an early team means getting up at 2am - so by the time I finish work I'm pretty tired!

“I normally fit my low intensity sessions in on my working days and then four quality sessions on my days off. It's tough but I haven't done myself justice on the track just yet!”

It’s always helps to have a back-up plan too, and Emma has the ambition of getting into presenting, but there are lots of different ways of getting into it.

Emma said: “Sky Sports News is where I’ve come from but I would definitely be interested in other things.

“There are opportunities at Sky Sports News to do different things, such as Soccer Saturday. It’s good to see things like that.”

Check out the rest of the 'Inside the Industry' series here:

Matt Cooke, Lead for UK, Ireland and Nordics, Google News Lab

Hugh Woozencroft, BBC Sportsday presenter

Matt Lawton, Chief sports reporter, Daily Mail

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