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Mark Douglas Lowes

This case study seeks to develop an understanding of why the sports pages of metropolitan daily newspapers are so regularly saturated with news of the major commercial spectator sports world, while noncommercial sports receive only a modicum of coverage at best. Using data gathered from fieldwork in the sports department of a large Canadian daily, this inquiry reveals that sportswriters depend on routine sources for the bulk of their raw news material. Almost invariably, these sources are athletes, spokespersons, and organizations with roots deep in the commercial sports world. This is a practical necessity, enabling sportswriters to cope with the pressures and constraints of their work. Consequently, work routines employed in the daily manufacture of sports news tend to privilege the major commercial spectator sports, thus “reading” noncommercial sports out of the news by omission.