Skip to content

The Athletic and the Rise of Player-Centric Sports Journalism

The Athletic and the Rise of Player-Centric Sports Journalism

As a result, sports leagues and teams are focusing on individual players to boost fan engagement. The emergence of specialised websites such as The Athletic is an indication of this trend.

However, entertainment values should not dominate journalism in sports. Major ethical documents (IFJ, Council of Europe) clearly state that comment and speculation should be avoided.

Real time Soccer Scores

For fans who are unable to watch their favorite team play, they can use websites that provide real time soccer scores. These sites feature tournaments, leagues, and cups from across the world. They also provide in-game statistics, news, and fixtures. In addition, they are optimized for desktops and mobile devices.

In Germany, the majority of live soccer TV commentators work for public service broadcasters (ZDF, NDR, and WDR), RTL, and private television channels such as Eurosport, sportdigital, and Sky. As such, they are exposed to high audience expectations, and as interviewee 3 puts it, “They expect us to know everything, see every detail, and assess it correctly in a matter of seconds”.

This puts the commentary in a precarious position, as it is supposed to inform the spectators in a journalistic manner and fulfill an orientation function, but also entertain them. The resulting hybrid form of journalism is known as soccer commentary and combines the journalistic formats of factual reporting and subjective commentary (Wiske 2017). The purpose of this study was to investigate how live soccer commentators perceive the tension between journalistic and entertainment values in their work.

Enhanced Fan Engagement

Fan engagement is one of the most important aspects of sports reporting, as it impacts a variety of critical metrics for teams and organizations. For example, a dedicated and engaged fanbase can help drive ticket sales, merchandise purchases, and media coverage for the team. In addition, a strong and engaged fanbase can help foster a sense of community and loyalty among the fans, which can lead to increased brand awareness and a more robust revenue generation model for the organization.

Enhanced fan engagement in sports reporting can also be seen in the growing popularity of soccer “fanzines,” cheaply printed magazines written by fans that bypassed official club match programs and traditional media. These publications offer a mix of entertainment and journalistic content, blurring the boundaries between journalism and entertainment. Some interviewees point out that this trend toward trivial’soft’ journalism leads to a diminished reputation for journalism (Wiske 2017). Others note that it may also lead to a more concentrated effort on the part of commentators to establish themselves as a personal brand.

Data Driven Analysis

The success of the book “Moneyball” has sparked interest in big data and analytics for sport. It is now possible to collect, store, transfer and analyze large data sets for a relatively low cost Keonhacai. This has led to new forms of analysis and an increased trust in the objectivity of data-driven decisions.

This development has an impact on sports journalism. The journalist’s role has become more than just a neutral observer of the game; it is now an important mediator between fans and the club. Sports journalists are caught between economic realities (drawing large audiences with entertainment) and journalistic pursuits (such as investigative stories). This tension has an effect on how the role of the sports journalist is perceived and performed. Interviews with sports commentators reveal that they have a range of different strategies to stand out from the crowd: from emotional entertainers to objective mediators. The latter rely on more classic journalistic presentation. The entertainment-oriented commentators aim to excite viewers through their voice, language and emotions.

Challenges of Reporting Live Sports Scores

As with all aspects of journalism, there are ethical considerations in sports reporting. It is important for journalists to report accurate information. It is also important to maintain a professional relationship with sources and not give in to pressure from sources to publish information that supports a team or player’s perspective. Journalists should never accept gifts or special invitations that could influence their coverage.

Moreover, it is essential for sports journalists to understand the hybrid nature of televised soccer. On the one hand, it is factual and fulfills orienting information functions but, on the other hand, it consists of subjective commentary and entertaining elements (Schaffrath 2003). As such, sports commentators have a major impact on how audiences experience live sporting events and shape their evaluations and memory of them.