Focal Points on Sports Journalism

Published On: August 11, 2020

Journalism is one of the most salient professions in the today’s world, because it informs people about events which helps them in forming their opinions about current affairs.

Sports journalism is a form of journalism that reports on sports related events. Sports coverage has grown in a massive field as sport itself has grown in wealth, power and influence.

A sports writer has the responsibility to both entertain and inform people about what is transpiring within the world of sports. Some sports writers focus on one particular sport whereas others write on all sports within a given area. Some sports writers are chambered or are issued in more than one newspaper and others may write for a local newspaper or even for a website, blog, magazine.

Sports writers may work freelance and sell individual stories to various news outlets or they may work for a given publication or a company. Those sports writers that do freelance work pick their sporting events to cover, whereas those that work for a publication or a company are usually assigned stories. Both types of sports writers have to be able to capture the enthusiasm and interest of the reader as well as provide an accurate portrait of a sporting event or issue that they are writing on.

Most writers now use computer word processing programs that make editing and revising a bit easier, and also allows for submissions by email to meet tight deadlines. Creativity, a very complete understanding of the sport, good rapport with athletes, coaches and managers as well as an ability to write are all important for a sports writer. An interest in news as well as keeping up-to-date on all issues with regards to the sports community is also important on a daily basis.

A Journalist’s role:

New technologies have made it possible for anyone with a computer to disseminate information as widely as the largest news organizations, but a well-designed internet site, no matter how well it’s written or how often it’s updated, is not necessarily a reliable source of news.

The truth is that in a complex world where information is no longer a scarce commodity, the role of the journalist has become more important than ever. Unlike a propagandist, the journalist sorts through the knowledge determines what proportion of it’s valuable and reliable before passing it on to the general public.

News stories, whether news or features, must be accurate.Journalists not only collect the information they have to inform, they need to verify the information before they can use it.

Journalists believe in first-hand observation whenever possible and consult multiple sources to ensure the information they receive is authentic.

The verticals that fall under Sports Journalism are :

Print and Social Media – Sports journalists working in the print and social media provide detailed previews, post game reviews of events analysis, in addition to extensive score line, player statistics and team standings As a sports writer or reporter, you could start your own blog, write description sports features and write sports columns.

Broadcast – The broadcast game is changing out of all recognition. We are living in an age of on-demand and personalized media. Broadcast sports journalists provide real-time reporting a sporting event for television and radio broadcasts.Reporters also interview players before, during and after a game; production teams direct, edit and produce sports telecasts.

Photojournalism – Sports photojournalists take photographs of sporting events to capture the game experience in a single picture. The main entreaty of sports photography is for editorial purposes; devoted sports photographers usually work for newspapers or dedicated sports magazines.

The media makes use of our need to witness a particular news by serving as a mediator between the sporting event, which happens somewhere out there, and us, the audience. Being a central part of our everyday experience, media brings sports coverage to our living room everyday in various forms.

Sports writers, reporters do get the best seat in the stadium/arena to witness the match, but they are never able to assume the carefree attitude of a causal spectator. A journalist has got to transcend the mere objective of reporting of the event. They have to be a trained expert qualified not only to report, but also to elucidate and interpret the run of play. They have to expand the horizon of the news and also explain, amplify and clarify.

A sports journalist should be someone with an hawk-eye and with agile ears. They must not only be sensitive to the environment, but must have the ability to translate the excitement and the thrill on the field into readable words.

So, it is a hard road indeed. But, in any case journalism as a whole is a demanding master and offers no lap of luxury.

Written by Ms. Prajakta Bhawsar
IISM Student Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management Batch 2018-21

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