Do you like to follow local, state, or national sports? Do you already write sports articles for the Merciad and want to expand on those skills? Do you think you have what it takes to become a sports journalist? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then the Sports Journalism class might just be for you.
As outlined in the class syllabus, the Sports Journalism course “will explore the ever-changing world of sports journalism and broadcasting. The course will examine how technology continues to revolutionize the sports media industry and the numerous outlets carrying that information.” Over the course of this class, students are able to learn about current events, ranging from local news, such as Mercyhurst Athletics and Erie News Now, to national news such as ESPN and NBC Sports.
Students in this course also have the opportunity to complete a variety of assignments, from game reports and radio promos to sports features and social media posts. “Students are encouraged to read and learn about the various sports stories occurring on Mer-cyhurst’s campus, locally in the Erie region, nationally and internationally. Students will not discover how print, radio, television, and social media differ in sports journalism, but how they are intertwined” reads the class syllabus.
This course is taught by Jay Pus-kar, the sports director at YourE-rie.com. An Erie native, Puskar graduated from Mercyhurst in 2002 with a degree in Journalism and Communication. During his junior and senior years at Mercyhurst, Puskar worked as the play-by-play announcer at WMCE for football, basketball, and hockey. He got his TV start working for Image Sports as a color commentator for high school and college games. Puskar has spent 13 years in local sports coverage, ranging from high school events to Erie’s minor league franchises.
On the national level, he has done his fair share of regular-season games for the NFL, NHL, and MLB, but in addition, he has reported from four Super Bowls, the 2007 US Open, 2012 Kentucky Derby, and 2012 Bel-mont Stakes. Puskar has now been working as an adjunct professor for Mercyhurst since 2018, teach-ing the Sports Journalism course every other spring.
From local news such as Mercy-hurst’s recent win over Gannon in Men’s basketball to national news such as Carson Wentz leaving the Philadelphia Eagles and joining the Indianapolis Colts, Puskar is more than qualified to teach this class to aspiring journalists.