Dr. Vibekanand Singh
A paradox exists at the heart of sports journalism. On one hand, it has over the years often been viewed as the poor relation within journalism, lacking the integrity that journalists often like to associate with their self-image. Sports journalism has been characterised as a form of “soft” journalistic practice, without the rigour and credibility of other forms of “hard” journalism. It was an area of journalism that was viewed as an uncritical booster and promoter of sport and its culture rather than a sector that called the powerful in sport to account. It was a journalism that was more often going to ask the easy and banal question, rather than the penetrating and pertinent one.
The digital turn of the has also dramatically reshaped the journalistic landscape, with sports journalism often being at the leading edge of this transition as journalism moved online and many new (often fan-based) sources of information become available around sports culture. The business crisis in print journalism has arrived at the sports journalists door somewhat later than for other sectors, but arrive it has. As the funding of journalism moves centre stage as a driver in shaping the new trajectories of journalism, those working in sports also have had to adapt and re-invent themselves and it is this process that is the focus of this special issue of Digital Journalism.
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