Education

The impact of technology on sports journalism

Posted On
Posted By Doris Fortner

 

Technological advancements have changed all our lives and affected many professions in different ways. Some changes are beneficial, while others may be more problematic. Sports journalism is no exception, and sports journalists need to stay on top of the latest advancements in their field while working to limit any negative effects technology may have.

What does a sports journalist do?

Sports journalists may work for television, radio, newspapers, magazines or digital media. Many people in this profession write for print or digital publications or prepare pieces for the camera. Some sports journalism pieces are recorded in advance, while others are broadcast live. Some journalists may be reporting from events and games, while others may be presenting sports programs for television or radio. They may even serve as media or communications officers for sports teams.

Technology influences these roles in different ways, changing the work of sports journalists throughout the industry. In some ways, it may make their work easier or create new opportunities, but there are some drawbacks that sports journalists have to mitigate.

Qualifications of a sports journalist

The impact of technology on sports journalists starts long before they get their first position; it plays a prominent role in their education. Most will have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications or another related field.

A Master of Arts in Sports Journalism can help candidates stand out from the crowd in this competitive field. In addition to equipping you with the skills and knowledge you need to be a sports journalist in today’s fast-paced world, it will also impress prospective employers and help you make useful connections with teachers and fellow students that can last throughout your career.

In the past, sports journalism was studied in person at a university. However, advances in communications technology mean that students can now complete their studies online with materials delivered via videos, webinars, podcasts and online platforms, while interaction with teachers can take place via email, phone, text or video calls. The flexible nature of these courses allows you to study on your own time without compromising your current financial, social and work commitments.

A good example of a high-quality online program for budding sports journalists can be seen at St. Bonaventure University Online. Designed with working professionals in mind, their Master of Arts in Sports Journalism teaches all the skills needed to become a sports journalist in both traditional and digital media. Advances in technology have made acquiring the necessary qualifications more accessible than ever. Students no longer need to live close to a university that offers sports journalism to earn a degree.

In addition to gaining formal qualifications, the sports journalists of the future must expand their knowledge informally. This is another area where advances in technology can be useful. Thanks to the Internet, budding sports journalists can subscribe to an array of sports blogs and publications to keep them up to date on the latest changes and events. In addition, they can easily research sports information through internet searches.

For sports journalists who want to create a portfolio and gain experience while they apply for formal positions, the internet can provide a platform for their own work. Even without web development skills, sports journalists of the future can set up their own sports website or blog, where they can hone their skills and publish their own work, perhaps even gaining a following that is sure to impress prospective employers.

24/7 accessibility

For those who are unable to attend a sports event or competition, one of the greatest changes over the years has been accessibility. In the past, people would have to wait for the next day’s newspaper to learn the results of a game they missed. Radio and television sped up this process, but even then, the number of events broadcast live was limited. For many events, you would need to wait for a sports news program to come on air.

However, the internet has changed this. It is now possible to view many more events live, allowing those at home to watch at the same time as those who are present at the event. For events that still cannot be viewed live, the results will usually be available online within moments of the event ending and there will often be live feeds of key moments throughout the game unfolding in real-time.

Better accessibility has made sports more popular than ever, and the role of the sports journalist has become even more relevant. This also creates a faster-paced working environment for sports journalists. With more events available on television or streaming services, there is a greater need for commentators who can present live to the camera. For those reporting after the event, there is a greater urgency for news.

Even if a newspaper or sports magazine is not going to print until the next day, they are likely to still want content on their website as soon as possible after the event finishes or even while the event is still taking place. Video presentations and interviews are also expected on websites, and sports journalists working on camera need to act quickly to post content and prepare more in-depth pieces for news shows.

This makes the career of sports journalism exciting, drawing in people who can think quickly. It also gives them the chance to build a closer relationship with sports fans, who are likely to find out the results at the same time as the journalist, even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

New technology also makes it easier to access sports journalism for those who previously might have struggled. For example, text-to-speech apps allow written media to be accessed by the visually impaired, while speech recognition technology can caption live TV, allowing people who are hearing impaired to follow what is happening. For those who are deaf and blind, braille screens are now being used, allowing them to enjoy programs through the sense of touch. Today, more than ever, sports journalists can make sports accessible to everyone.

Social media

Social media has become incredibly popular, with most people using at least one social media platform and many using several. In addition to being used for social interaction, social media is also used for professional purposes, and sports journalism is no exception. Sports journalists need to maintain a social media presence across multiple platforms, which means they will need to be familiar with the format and etiquette of the different sites they use.

This allows sports journalists to develop a better rapport with fans, including ones they may never meet in person. The interactive nature of social media means that fans can communicate directly with sports journalists, who can respond to questions and opinions, often sparking debate and interest among fans. This brings a more personal nature to the profession and allows fans to feel more involved.

Social media also has its downsides. Alongside the many genuine fans who just want to chat about sports with the sports journalists are online trolls and spammers, and sports journalists will need to learn how to deal with these individuals. It is also a good idea for sports journalists to use a private account for their personal social media interactions and keep their professional ones limited to discussing sports and other matters related to their profession.

Digital content

Traditionally, sports journalists would work solely for either TV, radio, newspapers or magazines, with the most well-known occasionally landing a book deal. However, internet technology has expanded the number of available platforms, providing many new opportunities for sports journalists.

Today, a sports journalist is just as likely to be writing for an internet site or online magazine as they are for a physical publication. Even those who are working for a physical newspaper or magazine will likely have to also provide content for their online platform. In addition, their articles will be promoted on social media, allowing them to effortlessly reach audiences around the world.

Podcasts are another form of media that have become incredibly popular, with sports podcasts on every sport imaginable keeping fans entertained and informed. Sports podcasts can take different forms. They may be a news roundup, perhaps delivered on a daily or weekly basis, that fans will listen to immediately, or they could provide more in-depth information about the history or other aspects of a sport or team that can be listened to at any time.

With the growing demand for content for increasing numbers of online platforms, there are more opportunities for sports journalists to find employment. However, digital platforms are so easily set up that some sports fans may set them up as a hobby, providing content for free and bringing competition to the professionals. To counter this, professional sports journalists will have to work hard to find unique angles and content.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology that everyone’s talking about at the moment, some with excitement and others with fear about how it can take over our lives. Is there a risk that we may soon have no need for sports journalists because it will all be done by AI?

While tech may be transforming sports journalism, there are no signs that it can replicate either the creativity or the genuine passion for sports that still lie at the heart of every good sports journalist. However, even though AI may not be taking over sports journalism, it is still having an impact and can be a useful tool for sports journalists to understand.

AI can analyze player performance, allowing sports journalists to make predictions with greater confidence. It can also be used to automate some processes, such as data collection and analysis, which has the advantage of freeing up the sports journalist to focus on other aspects of their reports, such as creativity and in-depth coverage, while allowing for more fact-based reporting.

However, caution must be exercised when using facts acquired by AI. AI works by combing the internet for information. Not all sources are good or credible, so it is important to check all facts. Moreover, fact-checking can be easily carried out by anyone online, and sports journalists who get facts wrong will often hear from a slew of sports enthusiasts eager to point out their mistakes.

Another way that AI can aid factual reporting is through AI-powered cameras in use during the game, providing accurate times and statistics almost instantly. It can also help with choosing the best angles to provide the most thrilling replays and photographs to accompany written and verbal sports reports.

Augmented reality

There are some exciting developments taking place with augmented reality (AR) that may transform the way some fans watch live sports. AR involves introducing some virtual elements into a real-life environment, and it is finding some applications in sports reporting.

In the past, if you were watching a game on TV and wanted to know a player’s stats, you would need to get a separate device to look them up. AR means that those players’ stats or other information about a game can be overlaid on the same screen that you are using to watch the game. This means that people are increasingly choosing to watch games on smartphones and other smart devices, perhaps while carrying out other activities.

This may change the way sports journalists report. For example, many of the statistics will be delivered via AR, which means the sports journalists reporting for AR-enhanced apps and sites do not need to provide this information in their commentary and reports. Another use for AR is overlaying the game on the blog of a popular sports journalist so that fans can read their content, including their thoughts on the game unfolding, while watching the game or competition.

Esports

Esports are not a new phenomenon, but they are gaining in popularity and are being taken increasingly seriously, with prize pots rising as a result. Esports involve tournaments that are live streamed to fans, with games such as Fortnite and FIFA being particularly popular. Although it is easy for fans of more traditional sports to dismiss this industry, its fans take it very seriously, and the global industry is valued at over a billion dollars.

For sports journalists, esports provide additional opportunities for work. If your love of sports is matched by your love of gaming, it is well worth considering how you can use that knowledge to your advantage. Just as in physical sports, there are teams to follow, winners to interview and events to be reported on, but unlike physical sports, you may be able to do much more of this from the comfort of your home.

Future technology

Advancements in technology are showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, technologies such as AI, VR and AR are in their infancy, and we are only just scratching the surface of what they may be able to achieve. Perhaps one day, they can be used to create a completely immersive experience where the viewers at home really feel like they are in the stadiums and beside pitches, and the commentary of sports journalists will have to change to reflect the experience of the viewer. Sports journalism is always going to be prepared to embrace the latest technology, using it to outperform their competitors and enhance the experience of their viewers and readers.

A changing industry

Technology is having a major impact on sports journalism, transforming where and how sports journalists work, increasing their accessibility to sports fans, and offering exciting new technologies that sport journalists can use as tools to enhance their work.

However, while sports journalists need increasing proficiency in technology, some aspects of the job have not changed. Sports journalists still need to be creative individuals who are skilled in written and verbal communication. Today, more than ever, they need to be good at thinking on their feet and prepared for the unexpected. At the heart of all good sports journalism, whether it is in traditional media or on an exciting new technologically-advanced platform, are stories of the human endeavors of athletes and the sports journalist’s genuine love of sports.

 

Related Post

Recent Post

Education

Know Why Online Courses Will Predominate In 2024

Read More
Posted On
Future of Primary Education:
Education

The Future of Primary Education: Trends and Predictions for Dubai

Read More
Posted On
Education

E-commerce Domination: A Playbook for Optimizing User Experience and Driving Sales

Read More
Posted On
Education

Building a Strong Personal Brand Online: Strategies for Professionals

Read More
Posted On
Education

Unveiling Inner Peace with the Transformative Power of A Course in Miracles 

Read More
Posted On