It’s a fascinating time we live in. The emergence of the internet in the 1990s has, a decade later, started to transform news and the way journalists report on it. By and large, certainly in sports journalism, newspapers are starting to lose the battle against the internet’s immediacy and flexibility – but it need not be such a stark, chilling omen for the future of print media, as the following describes:
American sports editor Greg Bowers writes on Editor & Publisher of a revelation he had not too long ago concerning how sporting news is transforming because of the Web. One day when he was deciding what the next days layout would be, his wife, not really a sports fan, mentioned the days two top stories. and then it hit Greg; why should I print these stories in tomorrow’s paper if everyone already knows what happened?
“Sports journalism, actually journalism in general, is in a state of paralysis. Two things that have been constant companions in journalism through the years, have split apart.
“The first thing is reporting, getting out the news. The second is telling good stories, interpreting the news. They once went hand in hand — news and writing. Now the first one is out and about before the second one can get its coat off.
“Getting information to consumers has become a race. And it’s a race that newspapers, by definition, are losing.”
So instead of repeating the same news in the next day’s print edition, Bowers realized that newsrooms needed to tell the story behind the news. Journalists must find the information that the public wants to know and give “depth. Perception. Interpretation.”
Said bower, “The truth is, newspapers are in a particularly good position to play this new game. They just haven’t realized it yet.”