Social media threatens traditional sports reporting

With the increase of social media, athletes are beginning to bypass reporters by releasing information directly to the public. Reporters, in turn, have to change the way they cover sports to adapt with these trends.

In the pre-digital world, journalists were welcomed into the locker rooms teams or athletes wanted the publicity. With the rise of social media journalists are no longer the middle man. Anyone can release information out if they want to. Athletes are taking it upon themselves to release information that used to come from a sports reporter.

According to Brett Hutchins, the writer of  Acceleration of Media Sport Culture: Twitter, Telepresences, and Online Messaging,  journalists comb through large amounts of  messages searching for content that may provide evidence for a story that would otherwise go unreported. Social media released by athletes can announce unguarded opinions and reactions that offer a shock. Fans may find these to be more entertaining than the scripted responses usually offered in staged press conferences and media interviews.

In order to deal with changes, sports journalism has had to adapt to these social media trends.  Although athletes are passing-over journalists with their news, some sports reporting is getting on board with the social media trends. According to Hutchins, in the United States, the National Football League (NFL) acknowledges the opportunities and challenges posed by Twitter and other social media sites. The NFL utilizes a twitter profile as a promotional vehicle to provide updates, news, scores and links.

 nfl

                                                                 © Amy Bruzda 2013

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks explains his belief that sports reporters will be forgotten because teams can release information that they want to bring to light as a form of marketing. Therefore, sports reporters have to look at stories from different angles to keep their job. No longer can they just state what happened and the aftermath of emotions, but have to research, generate and investigate stories that would go under the radar of social media. ABC News sports reporter Tim Gavel explains what he and other sports reporters have adapted to this social media phenomena.

With social media one click of the mouse and you are connected to endless information straight from sources.

By Amy Bruzda

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