Stop the Presses!

By Cooke, Suzanne L. | The Sport Journal, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

Stop the Presses!


Cooke, Suzanne L., The Sport Journal


Introduction

This paper will examine the rapid evolution of traditional sports journalism. It will begin by suggesting a variety of driving forces fueling the shift from traditional journalism of pen and print, to click and internet. Then, it will discuss the implications this shift has upon the realm of sport; for it is not only journalists who are affected, but also professional athletes, sports organizations, and fans alike. As technological advances progress, and trusting, ethical relationships between journalists and athletes regress, there is danger that the presses may indeed come to a complete stop.

Definitions of Terms

Blog

a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

ESPN

Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

Facebook

Website for people to create personal pages on which they can post pictures and all manner of personal information and communicate with others.

TMZ

"Thirty Mile Zone" A term which originated in the 1960s due to growth of 'on location' shoots in Hollywood. A "thirty mile zone" was established to monitor the regulations of these shoots. Now, the acronym is used as a celebrity news source compromised of paparazzi who will report every minute detail of celebrities' personal lives.

Twitter

Twitter.com is a social networking and "micro-blogging" website which enables users to write short messages to each other.

Review of Literature

Traditional, old-fashioned sports journalism highlighted the events of a game and the individual performances of athletes. People eagerly awaited the delivery of the morning paper to read the game summary and analyze the box scores; however times have changed. Not only are people no longer waiting for the newspaper to be delivered to their front door step, they are not even purchasing the paper at all. "Following an average drop of 10.6% in the last 12 months, daily newspaper circulation has fallen to a pre-World War II low of an estimated 39.1 million; which means only 12.9% of the U.S. population buys a daily newspaper," (Mutter, 2009). The main reason for the decline is due to technological advances that allow instant access to every score, highlight, and play-by-play via internet websites, postings, and blogs. Certainly, the dying reliance upon the newspaper and printed word is causing a major change in the field of sports journalism; and there are a number of forces causing the presses to come to a halt.

Increased Accessibility & Immediacy

The most influential impetus behind the change in the field of sports journalism is the evolution of technology. There is no doubt we are living in a society bombarded by an explosion of mass media, and a demand to access information at a faster pace. This is proven by the fact that as newspaper and magazine sales continue to decrease, there is an immense increase in internet sites. The internet has revolutionized the world of sports journalism by providing immediate access through blogs, instant messaging, tweeting, Facebook, and a plethora of other platforms. Ultimately, the factors of increased accessibility and immediacy have forced traditional newspaper journalists to conform to a new system, or lose their position.

Further, due to the increased access of sporting events via the internet, satellite, and other advances in technology, a mere review of sporting events and scores is no longer as important to audiences. As Greg Bowers, an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism stated, "The old reason for buying the paper is gone. What journalists are trying to do is create a new reason for buying the paper," (Brown, 2008). This shift in focus, caused by pressure to compete with the immediacy and accessibility of the internet has caused the traditional newspaper presses to stop rolling. …

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