The Medium of the Future: Top Sports Writers Discuss Transitioning From Newspapers to Online Journalism

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Edward M. KianOklahoma State University, USA

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Matthew H. ZimmermanBall State University, USA

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In this phenomenology, interviews were conducted with former newspaper reporters now working for prominent Internet sports sites. Krumboltz’s (2008) Planned Happenstance Learning Theory on career development was used as a guiding framework. Data were transcribed and coded by two researchers. Most of the journalists decided to be newspaper sports writers early in life and began garnering professional experiences in their teens or in college. None planned to work for Internet outlets. However, all foresaw the demise of newspapers and landed with Internet outlets through media connections initially formed through newspapers. All but one expressed high satisfaction in their current jobs, citing large travel budgets, freedom to choose writing assignments, national platforms, and no hard time deadlines for submitting stories. These reporters find the future of sports journalism unpredictable, but believe they will be ready. Lehman-Wilizig and Cohen-Avigdor’s media life-cycle model (2004) was used to understand results in a broader context.

Kian is with the School of Media and Strategic Communications, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Zimmerman is with the School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

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