Sports news is an industry term that applies to any form of news that reports on events taking place in various sports, athletic events, or other hobbies or interest groups. Sports journalism began in the late 1800s as a kind of written news for the elite, dedicated to the upper-class social elite. Sports journalism began with newspapers having only dedicated sports sections and later progressed gradually into having regular sports sections devoted to a variety of other topics. Today, sports coverage is almost as common as regular news, especially with the proliferation of cable television and the increasing number of sports channels available for sports fans to watch. As the world becomes more connected through online means of communication, sports coverage has also become more widespread and accessible. Sports writers, editors, and producers are now reporting from a wide range of venues and industries to ensure a diversity of perspectives.
A good example of modern sports journalism is the proliferation of sports blogs and social media sites like twitter and Facebook. These media outlets provide a way for enthusiasts and professionals in sports reporting to interact in a non-traditional medium and get feedback, insight, and up to date information from others in the field. In some ways, it is a cross between traditional reporting and blogging; however, sports journalists who are involved with these media activities have usually been sports journalists for many years.
The shortage of seasoned sports journalists is one of the reasons why the International Olympic Committee is taking steps to hire more sportswomen and develop greater female participation at the games. With the growing number of games being held during the December months, the lack of experienced news reporters in major cities is problematic. This is particularly true for cities like Los Angeles, which have experienced major problems in recent years in covering sports stories due to the popularity of professional baseball and basketball players and the large number of professional athletes who choose to live in Los Angeles.
Sports journalists are typically employed by professional or major sport leagues, such as the NFL, NBA, or MLB, and they often work for multiple publications. They are paid a hefty salary for sports journalism jobs, and often have to live in cities where the sports teams play, such as New York or Boston, depending on the nature of their job and the desirability of the sports teams. For example, a freelance sports writer who covered the NBA’s Eastern Conference final series against the Chicago Bulls would have had to be in the city for at least part of that series, because the Eastern Conference is dominated by the Eastern Conference’s seven teams. Sports journalists are often thought of as part of the “social elite” in society, because they are typically associated with sports journalism.
Sports journalism has come a long way from its humble beginnings, when news was delivered by bakers, laborers, and mechanics. Nowadays, the Internet is the primary information delivery device, and journalists must use it to find, retrieve, and process sporting news stories. Sports journalism used to be primarily a bureau-based job; today it has moved into multimedia marketing. As it moves into the digital age, there will likely be more freelance positions available, and new avenues for entrepreneurial opportunity in the new media world created by the Internet.
As the Internet becomes increasingly important for sports journalism, sports journalists will be required to cover games and events beyond the traditional sports scene. The Internet allows sports journalists to follow teams in other arenas such as baseball and basketball, as well as cover Olympic Games. Coverage of Olympic Games, especially for non-traditional sports like figure skating and synchronized skating, has been successful in bringing new fans and revenue to the organizing committee. The Internet has also allowed sports journalists to build long-term relationships with athletic directors and teams through licensing opportunities and exclusive stories.