To what extent is the technical knowledge of video and audio editing softwares important in sports broadcasting?
Thanks so much for inquiring, and that is a good question. When I started at ESPN in 1992 (yeah, I know - I'm old), it was not that important for us producers to know the technical workings of the equipment. Of course, we had to know a little bit about what cameras/editing consoles could do so we could formulate how best to use them, but we never concerned ourselves with the inner workings of them.
Nowadays, though, the lines are really blurred. In many places of business, you have to be a 1-man band - producer, shooter, editor. At ESPN, it's not quite that way but it is clearly headed in that direction.
Fortunately for you, the price point for some of this equipment - perhaps not quite at the level that we use but not that far from it - is coming way down. You can buy Final Cut Pro video editing software, Pro Tools audio editing software, and GoPro cameras, etc for relatively reasonable prices. If you can't afford it now, there are always the holidays in December or birthday presents to be purchased!!
I have a feeling that in your working lifetime, you'll be expected to produce, edit, and shoot as well as our best "SC Featured" or E:60 stories are shot and edited, all by yourself. It seems Herculean to expect such a level, and the technical expertise of our best editors and freelance photographers is extraordinary, but this (and most other) business is about doing more with less, so clearly the trend is in the 1-man band direction.
Good question! I recently graduated college and throughout my four years in my university's sports media program, they placed a huge emphasis on the one-man band way of doing things. Additionally, coursework and internships combined I managed to learn five different editing softwares. If you can get your hands on a diverse grouping of things like this, as well as be trained/train yourself on the bigger and better equipment that keeps coming these days, you'll be set up for success. Never hesitate to ask questions when doing so. The best way to learn is by learning from others who are well-versed in such areas!