Monday, January 30, 2012

Twitter’s Effects on Sports Journalism

Social Networking has made it easier for everyone to stay connected and follow all the latest celebrity events. One of the other developments is how news, like politics, sports and celebrities, is being broken. If you were to flip on to CNN, ESPN, or another news outlet, there is a high chance you will see them flash a tweet of a new story.  This is becoming a new way for stories to be broken especially in the sports and entertainment industries. This is all coming at the expense of journalist and beat writers across the country. 

Traditionally people got there news by watching the news or reading the newspaper. By the time it hits print you are hours behind everyone else. Athletes themselves are bypassing the middleman and talking straight to their fans1. Who needs a writer with “inside” sources when you can get the actual story from the involved source? 

The biggest downside to twitter journalism is the validity of the reports. Earlier this year actor Rob Lowe2, from “Parks and Recreation”, reported via Twitter that Peyton Manning was retiring. Trying to get a jump on the story, many respected news outlets ran the story. This despite the only source being a tweet from a “friend” of someone involved. After being heavily denied by Manning and the team it has appeared to be a false rumor. 

From new hires, to trades, to athlete’s opinions, all of this breaks first on twitter. This is fine when the player involved is tweeting. When the tweet is second hand is when twitter information gets dicey. It no longer takes a connected journalist to pry from source to source. All it takes is a person following an athlete involved, and the information is sent right to your phone/laptop.


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