Sports journalism is changing, 140 characters at a time.
The growth of social media has begun to redefine the way sports journalism is approached in America. Historically, the most popular style for journalistic writing has been the inverted pyramid. Sports journalism has always been a little different, but now we’re able to see the new direction it’s taking.
Every football, baseball, hockey, and you-name-it sports team has a Twitter and a Facebook account. The NFL’s Twitter account has almost four million followers to date, and the NBA has more than six million.
These social media accounts are what keep sports fans informed. In fact, most fans regularly check in on their favorite sports social media site more than the general public tunes into top news outlets. The graphic below shows the popularity of sports posts compared to news posts:
People like sports social media sites. It’s a perfect way for them to get immediate updates. Sports teams, for example, the Minnesota Vikings, use Twitter to liveTweet during games. @MNVikingsChat constantly updates scores, rosters, and team news, with each update less than 140 characters long.
Sports journalists have taken notice of how much followers love social media to be their link to their favorite team. ESPN regularly posts their Rapid Reaction article, a daily look at recent stories, all presented in a short, simplistic format much reminiscent of Twitter. Sports fans are used to reading their news in a Tweet format, and sports journalism is responding.
For the future, it’s likely safe to assume that social media’s popularity won’t be lessening, and that sports aren’t going to fade away. It’s likely that more and more sports news outlets will begin to follow ESPN’s formatting, and cater to their readers’ favorite styles.
Let’s just hope they don’t get too much shorter than those 140 characters.