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Fox Sports Ends Print -- the Death of Sports Reporting?

  1. Jul 2, 2017 #1


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    Interesting little development in [sports] media: Fox Sports, which was my go-to for sports reporting has fired all 20 of its writers (seems like a really small number...) to focus entirely on video. I noticed this a week ago when I went looking for commentary on the NBA draft (Philly had a big night...) and found no stories, only videos. Now the entire site (except for the scores) is just video clips of their commentary shows.

    Evidently, it is cheaper to chop and post the commentary videos from its sports talk shows than actual reporting -- and you can force people to watch ads before getting to your videos. The problem for me is that these commentary videos are less informative and more intentionally provocative -- they aren't really news.

    I guess I'll have to go back to ESPN....though they just got rid of a large number of reporters (print and TV personalities) as well. Or maybe USA Today....but I fear that this is the way media is moving in general.
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  3. Jul 2, 2017 #2


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    I share your frustration at the continuing weakening of print news and I do believe the trend is going to continue.
  4. Jul 2, 2017 #3


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    When I saw the thread title, I thought, "Did Fox Sports have a magazine or something?" To me, "print" means ink on dead trees. :wink:

    Still, I agree with your basic point about replacing text that you can read with video that you have to sit through and watch. I'd much rather read a transcript of a talking-head video than watch the video itself. For me, the video may still worth be watching if it has action clips (sports or on-the-scene news), but in that case I need captions or subtitles because I'm hearing-impaired.

    And what about all those people who are presumably reading Fox Sports at the office with the sound turned off so as not to attract attention from their bosses?
  5. Jul 2, 2017 #4
    +1 I am increasingly annoyed by this. Some sites are just blocks and blocks of videos, some that auto load and I don't even know where the sound is coming from.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  6. Jul 2, 2017 #5
    First TV and then the Internet: these are the two forces that have cut the legs out from under print journalism, whether for sports or any other beat. Customers moved to TV and advertising followed; no ads means no way to pay for staff. This was a trend many decades in the making; local newspapers were hurt first and worst. The Internet made things worse in terms of undercutting the timeliness and therefore the usefulness of print, but I haven't kept track of the advertising/revenue picture and how that has been skewed; other than to know that conventional news operations have struggled most, simply because their payrolls and other expenses are so much higher than for cheapie operations such as HuffPost.

    I agree those sports reporting operations which remain on the web are doing poorly: e.g. over the last couple of years, it's become apparent that Tennis.com, which is related to Tennis magazine, has almost no money now to pay writers and copy editors beyond a skeleton crew; the result is predictably shoddy.

    Back to print, even the few national papers we once regarded as unshakeable are apparently suffering financially. I guess we've known this for awhile, but the symptoms seem to be getting worse: e.g. it has been in the news that the New York Times is contemplating cutting its copy editing crew in half. The copy editors have written an angry letter to management about this, and reporters have joined in the protest: http://www.nyguild.org/post/new-york-times-reporters-join-fight-in-solidarity-with-copy-editors

    Grim prospect: If the big papers really were to crumble, along with what's left of AP and other legit organizations, we'd be left with almost no professional reporting; just the few pros still on TV. Outside of that it would be the likes of Facebook and Breitbart and HuffPost and "fake news" of various sorts.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  7. Jul 2, 2017 #6


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    Wow, and that despite raising paper prices to $2.50 weekly and $5 for Sunday?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  8. Jul 2, 2017 #7


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    And the millions of Fox News watchers would never notice.
  9. Jul 19, 2017 #8


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    The prospects you raise above signifies to me that the era of traditional commercial news outlets should (and most likely will at some stage) come to an end, and investigative news (all news -- whether they be local, national, or international) should be founded and established as non-profit entities (e.g. ProPublica) or arms-length government-funded organizations (e.g. CBC in Canada, the BBC in the UK, Al Jazeera English, etc.)
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