The Evolution Of Sports Journalism
Sports news, in its purest form, is simply reporting on sports events as they happen. It is written by a sports writer and can be a live blog, published in a newspaper, or published in a magazine. It is designed to inform the general public about events and situations that are related to sports and their impact on athletes and sports teams. In today’s world of sports journalism there is a growing trend for sports journalists to write about non-sports events. In fact, many sports magazines are now dedicated to non-sports stories and reviews. Sports journalism began as a subset of the general news industry and later transitioned to become a critical element of the reporting business with papers having dedicated sports sections dedicated exclusively to them.
The evolution of sports journalism began with the rise of professional and college sports as major revenue generating revenue producing industries and the commercialization of sports. First, it focused on the business aspect of sports organizations as they sought to increase their revenue by offering advertisers special spots on their coverage and reporting. As this occurred, sports writers who wrote about these teams, leagues, and players came under increasing scrutiny for being biased by their employer, the source of their information, or the event they were covering. The first half of the twentieth century saw a new focus on sports reporting by sportswriters who sought more objective perspectives on events through the use of resources such as wire services and sports wire servers that relayed information directly to major networks and media outlets.
As sports journalism began to develop a strong presence in the business and cultural world, it became increasingly important for sportswriters to appeal to a different type of audience, one that would not easily identify with the traditional, business news/sports section. As this shift became more prominent in the business world sports journalism took on a new focus to provide more of an insider’s perspective and news from the “social elite”. As this change occurred sports journalism also expanded into new areas such as high school athletic clubs, junior high and middle school athletic clubs, higher education, professional sports, international sports, women in sports, and sports journalism. Today there are numerous magazines dedicated solely to these topics. Other magazines such as Sporting Life and Town Journal have also developed specific sections that focus on either a specific sport or niche area such as women’s sports.