Sports writers face the digital future

2 Mins read

Before the advent of the internet and social networking sites like Twitter, sports fans were inevitably reliant on newspapers and magazines for the latest news.

With the introduction of the internet, the last decade has seen an explosion in sports news, analysis and chatter, with dedicated fans continuing to devour as much as they can get.

Today there are more sources than ever to provide information instantly. Of course, there are still sports journalists from traditional journalism sources such as newspapers and television. However independent bloggers, fans, and the athletes themselves are now starting to break their own news via  through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

In the digital age it appears that anyone can be a journalist.

Due to the intense competition by other news sources, it seems some journalists are disregarding the values of accuracy, precision and impartiality. They will not deliberate over a story or take time to check the authenticity of a source; they will shift the copy out in fear of someone else breaking the content before them.

Kevin Mitchell (Photo by Hannah Hutchins)

Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian believes the digital age has affected the standard of journalism

This will surely mean a decline in the standard of writing.

Kevin Mitchell, boxing correspondent for The Guardian, who spoke to sports journalism students at LCC in October, believes this is something that has already started to take place: “I do think the change in journalism has affected the quality, and not for the better.”

Mitchell discussed how journalists now have to be highly skilled, highlighting how they now have to work on a multitude of different platforms at the same time.

“In some ways it makes the demand for journalists differ, you’ve got to be very good to do on the spot reports for the website, and then at the same time do a more considered report for the newspaper, or sometimes people tweet constantly; they’re working on about three or four different levels,” he said

Mitchell referred back to the principles that he was taught when starting out in journalism, and how he could highlight cases where these same principles had been disregarded by colleagues in pursuit of quick copy.

[pullquote align=”right”]“The way I was brought up, you know the words matter a lot, the facts are sacred, and the words are the tools you use to describe the facts.” Kevin Mitchell [/pullquote]

“The way I was brought up, you know the words matter a lot, the facts are sacred, and the words are the tools you use to describe the facts.”

I can see it as a working journalist; I can see a colleague’s report where I can guess he just had to knock out something really quickly,” said Mitchell

In 2013, The Guardian estimated that 55% of the 36 million Britons who used the internet every day would go online to read or download news.

This staggering statistic highlights how technology has dramatically impacted the world of sports journalism and how sports news is now viewed.

Sports journalists will continue to face the challenge of reporting accurately and in a timely way, in the face of opposition from those who publish without the journalist’s professional training.


Related posts

'I used to call my father to tell him that I wanted to stop playing football'

3 Mins read
“Football at times can be a bit of a lonely life,” states football star Jude Bellingham in his latest video campaign for the sportswear brand adidas. With this quote, the 20-year-old English athlete highlights an aspect of football that is not often mentioned: loneliness.

Major League Sports need to start licensing cool merch for women

10 Mins read
More women are watching sport than ever before, so why are they still being treated as second class when it comes to merchandising?

Why sport matters so much for disabled people

1 Mins read
Research shows far fewer disabled people take part in sport than the rest of the population. Yet, for those who do, the impact can be transformative.