Sports writing, as we know it has taken a complete 180 in just a few years. Blog sites like Bleacher Report, SB Nation and Bill Simmons Grantland have become credible places to get sports news. Newspaper sales have plummeted leaving writers in a limbo of as Skip Bayless said, “Sports sells the newspaper.” Well what happens when newspapers stop selling?
It means sports need to make a drastic change to get the audience back. Students and professionals alike have begun the mad dash to blogs, social media and online newspapers. This affects every aspect of what it means to be a sports journalist. A story is still published in print but the process from there is full online immersion.
A sports writer will put his or her story on the newspapers’ site or blog to give to the online audience. The writer puts the story online and then promotes it through social media. A tweet, Facebook post or Instagram photo will then tease the story to get more readers. The final step comes when a video is produced to go along with the story. The video is posted all over social media as well, giving the story another way to get more readers.
I discussed this topic with a Houston Baptist University athletics media member. He was 64 and had a Twitter account. He said that the migration for sports to an online format has already happened and if a writer does not have social media access they are behind. This is a major trend that will affect writers that graduate this year or graduated years ago.