The Future of Interactive Sports Media

Com 530A Theory and Audience Analysis

The Future of Interactive Sports Media

Kevin Burrows

The purpose of this investigation is to explore the ways in which new and emerging interactive media will plot the course of sports journalism in the future.

Rationale

As the world of media transforms on what seems like a daily basis, the way sports are reported on and digested is being impacted on an ever-increasing scale. In a turbulent and unpredictable era of sports journalism, an unmistakable disconnect emerged between traditional media, such as newspapers, radio and television, and the emerging generation of bloggers, twitterers and podcasters. For most of the 1990’s and into the new millennium traditional sports outlets turned a blind eye to the advantages of the Internet. Only in the past few years have they hopped on the bandwagon of interactivity, but their efforts were largely and reactive rather than proactive. As a result, readers began finding other options for their news, which lead to the rise of many niche as well as widely popular sports blogs. Today, many “old school” journalists are tweeting and blogging to stay relevant. It has truly become a strange new world on the sports media landscape.

This research project will delve into the new definition of sports journalism, the new methods media outlets are using to report on sports to stay relevant and how blogs and message boards have changed the way people get their sports news. Additional areas of study include the differing ways professional sports leagues have reacted to new media, the evolution and future of fantasy sports and the trend of athletes controlling their own online image through the use of personal websites and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Methodology

For this research project I plan on taking a mixed method approach in order to get the best results. First, I will do a content analysis of interactive media in sports and study their impact. Additionally, I plan to do face-to-face and Skype interviews with prominent interactive media professionals within the sports realm.

I plan on interviewing authorities in the world of interactive sports media, including:

Peter Robert Casey, an independent Tweeter with more than 50,000 followers and currently among the Top 10 most-followed basketball-related users on Twitter, was hired in August by St. Johns University to be what is believed to be the first primarily Twitter-based blogger to earn a spot on press row.

Bill Simmons, known as the Sports Guy, writes for ESPN.com and has one of the largest followings in the online sports community. He has branched out from writing to podcasting and is an authority in sports journalism.

Peter King, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, joined the magazine in 1989 after spending nearly a decade as an award-winning newspaper journalist. As one of the country’s premier pro football writers, he has embraced Twitter and interactive media into his popular “Monday Morning Quarterback” column.

Will Leitch, the founder and former editor of Deadspin.com. Currently he is a contributing editor of New York magazine, but is best known for becoming the unofficial face of sports blogging during his time as editor of Deadspin.

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