Social media redefines sports journalism

MLB mobile app. Photo ©MLB.com

MLB mobile app. Photo ©MLB.com

The growth of social media has begun to redefine the way sports journalism is viewed in America. Sports stories are now told in 140 characters or less, through social media sites such as Twitter.

Behind us are the times that we would wait a few hours or even a day to receive the most recent sports stories, and enter a new way to receive sports updates by the second. What social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have done to sports is what the fans want, but this also has made the lives of many sports journalists much more challenging.

 Adam Rittenberg an ESPN Big Ten blogger writes, “Newspapers can still thrive, but they have to possess a web component and have a social media presence, print is no longer enough.”

According to the journalism-education organization, subscriptions to newspapers have dropped over the years while the number of Twitter followers is increasing day by day, making social media the hotspot for sports news.

Professional sports teams today have to find unique ways to keep fans coming back. A new trend that is showing up around stadiums is social media centers where any fan, journalist, or broadcaster can tweet updates by the second. Many stadiums today also have Wi-Fi throughout the stadium, making a task like tweeting so much easier.

In response to the social media movement, sports journalists have changed how they reach their audience.  Most sports writers today will post score updates and breaking news on their twitter page to keep fans in the loop. Along with this, they will also post links and videos in online articles to make them more interactive.

Social media has come a long way over the past few years, making it a go to source. Could 140 character tweets and multimedia posts really end what we know as traditional print journalism?

-Trent Tetzlaff

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