Sports news is a style of writing which reports on events pertaining to sports and sporting subjects. Sports Journalism began in the late 1800s as a means of bringing news to the elite social circle and has evolved over the years into a core element of the news industry with most daily newspapers now having dedicated sports sections. The first sport journalists were mainly sports enthusiasts who had formed professional associations, thereby ensuring that the information provided was impartial and fair. Today, most newspapers have sports sections which are read by the general public and a growing number of people are taking up the profession as a career.
As in any other profession, sports journalism requires its practitioners to adhere to a set code of ethics and practice to ensure that their reports and images are free of incorrect and bias information. The Society of Sportpress and the Associated Press Sports Editors set out the ethical guidelines for sports journalism in their statement “Standards of Reporting on Sports”, which is published on the AP website. These guidelines cover both written and visual content. Consistent, clear and accurate reporting is essential and the only sources that may be used for sports news reporting are those that belong to a reliable company or organization that can vouch for the reliability of the information. Most of the major newspapers have sports teams and departments with sports reporters that are responsible for giving sports news a distinctly separate identity and following.
One of the most popular sports stories of the month is the US Open, with tennis, golf, and basketball regularly attracting the lion’s share of the headlines. Other major sports stories of the summer include football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. The September/October issue of Popular Mechanics features articles on auto racing, bicycle touring, extreme mountain biking, and snowboarding. This month also has many other important sporting stories including: the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament, the NBA Eastern Conf. Basketball Finals, baseball World Series, the World Cup Soccer Qualifying Series, and the Formula 1 races.
The UK’s weekend newspapers, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Telegraph, and the Saturday Mail, are the third busiest sports magazines in the world, following the Illustrated and Sports Illustrated. In the UK, there are six different weekend sports magazines, including the Saturday Telegraph sport section which features sport from all over the country, and the Saturday morning edition of the Mirror. All six feature stories about British activity throughout the year, including the Tour de France, the English premiership Rugby matches, and the cricket World Cup. A new feature this year is the fantasy football league, which aims to give the public the opportunity to get involved in the game by choosing their own team members and playing fantasy football. The fantasy football league was launched in August of last year and is now drawing significant numbers of participants.
While the vast majority of stories feature players in the English Premier League, world matches, and the Olympic Games, the other major sports continue to be covered. Cricket World News, in partnership with the Evening Standard, is one of the few papers in the world to exclusively publish in depth reports on cricket. The paper also features stories from cricketing countries around the world, such as South Africa and India. A number of English newspapers have also established international partnerships with a number of global sports outlets, allowing them to run stories and feature in comparison to local newspapers. One of these partnerships is with the Dubai News Agency, which is run by the Dubai Sports Media Corporation.
Sports coverage can often be compared to that of traditional news reporting, however, due to the recent growth and presence of social media, sports journalism has developed into a more interactive experience. There are many examples of how sports journalism has evolved through the years. For instance, in addition to hiring sports reporters to write stories and provide commentaries, some sites like ESPN and The Guardian have taken to hiring freelancers to write unique articles and blog posts based solely on sports. Other sites like BBC Sport and The New York Times have used freelance writing to create feature articles for years, while offering the option for commentaries. Sports journalists can now work for outlets outside of their home country, providing valuable content for international markets where the sport is relatively unknown.