Blogs and Sport

Rick Waghorn said newspapers are facing two challenges: structural and cyclical. In the first case, the web is replacing the newspaper as the provider of news. In the second case, the current economic crisis means newspapers are laying off journalists and it is harder to get a job in the media industry. Annoying but understandable.


But the more newspapers are written off by people, the more I become defensive of them. I’m studying Newspaper Journalism. The last thing I want to be told is my chance of getting a job on one is next to nothing. But I will admit that where blogs blow newspapers out of the water is sports.


I am a massive tennis fan, it is my passion. I have played since I was five years old and follow it religiously (yes, I do think Andy Murray will win Wimbledon one day). But anyway…we all know Sky Sports channels are hugely biased to football. The only time Tennis gets a look in is during the Davis Cup, Master Series events or Grand Slams. So most of the time us tennis fans are left on the BBC Sports Site following numbers on a scoreboard. Now that is hardly the same is it?



But what instant blogging does provide is written commentary after every point. We no longer have to wait until the next day’s paper to see a match report. It is there in front of us as the match is happening. This is especially important for a sport like tennis which isn’t seen as popular enough to earn a lot of newspaper space (except of course during Wimbledon where everyone develops a 2-week passion for tennis).

murray-again

The same goes for my beloved team- Swansea City FC.Only in Welsh newspapers would there be a detailed match report, and even then I’d have to wait until the Monday morning. But the internet allows me to keep track of the game, with updates every two minutes at the latest.

swans


Maybe the conclusion I’m coming to is blogging is great for soft news and sporting news, but not necessarily for hard news? As Angelo Bruscas, Seattle Reporter, said:

Sports fans and more than a few self-professed fanatics are fueling a growing firestorm of electronic rants and raves that is burning up the structure of sports information as it once existed in the mainstream media. Nothing really can compare to the free-form exercise in sports-based freedom of speech propagated by a mushrooming field of Internet blogs.”

Everyone is, or should be, passionate about one sport or another. But journalists have to be neutral. This is where sports blogs prove valuable. Fans can express their views without them being edited. It gives them a place to vent their rages and frustrations.

We demand breaking news, be it sports or hard news, as it happens because the internet has empowered us to expect such things. Newspapers tell us what happens yesterday but the internet tells us what is happening right now. Even Facebook and Twitter updates are a form of news.


Just to divert from sports for a minute, Robert Peston, the name which falls on everybody’s lips when the credit crunch is mentioned, managed to dictate events from his blog. He was not waiting for the news programme later that evening or even the next day to give his view. He was waiting for as long as it took him to write his blog. peston-again


Now, those who accuse him of causing this economic crisis, will think that his blog was a dangerous tool. But I’ll admit this case shows the power of the internet and its usefulness for news. Blogging and the internet means news is 24/7, instant and worldwide. You can get it in the palm of your hand at the click of a button.


When referring to the state of the media industry, Rick Waghorn said: “There is a forest fire out there which is raging like nobody’s business. It wont get better next year either.”


I’m glad to say I don’t share this pessimism. Maybe I am scared of change and just will not admit that newspapers are dying out. How can I when my ambition is to work on one?  I know the web is rising to prominence. I just don’t think it has to mean the end of newspapers. The internet and newspapers can run side by side, enhancing one another, using one another and providing readers with better quality news than ever before.


Yet I will admit that when it comes to sports, newspapers have some real competing to do with the internet and as things stand, the internet is leaving newspapers far behind. Maybe what we have in front of us is a repeat of the hare and the tortoise race where the newspaper might just surprise us yet.

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3 Responses to “Blogs and Sport”

  1. Richard York Says:

    Yeah i totally agree, i dont trust blogs at all for actual ‘news’ updates but for sports it’s fantastic. I hope also that the current economic climate will not mean it is more difficult for journalists to get jobs; there will always be news that needs reporting, and someone will be needed to report it!

  2. Ted Higgins Says:

    I would like to point out that Sky Sports is not biased towards football. It is just following the majority sport not just in England but also Wales, Scotland and the rest of the world bar the USA where football is not given the chance to compete against their major sports.

    I don’t normally read blogs but rely on internet media sports sites for news as well as teletext and national and local papers.

    How different is newspaper journalism from internet or broadcast journalism?

    • gemmacasey Says:

      Ted,

      Well with internet journalism you get news as and when it happens whereas newspapers are limited to when the next publication day is. So in that respect, the internet is a cut above what newspapers are currently providing. This is especially beneficial for sport lovers who no longer have to wait until a monday newspaper to get Saturday match reports. They can have it there and then, and with no limitation on the length and detail.

      I just felt that the majority of sports shown on sky channels are football, whereas other sports such as tennis, swimming, and to a certain extent even rugby, do not get as much coverage. I understand that the majority of people in the UK are football fans, but I feel more coverage should still be given to sports which have a big following, such as the ones I have mentioned. This is why the internet and blogs are a god send for sport (non football) fans, because it allows all sports to be given the same attention.

      Thank you for your comments.

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