10 Questions with Kevin Blackistone
6. Future of Sports Media
Posted On 05.17, 2013

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RCS: Switching topics to sports media, the Rocky Mountain News is closing. The San Francisco Chronicle might close. And RealClearPolitics recently published a list of the Top 10 Newspapers in Trouble. We're quickly approaching a time during which tangible newspapers might not exist. You're a professor of sports media: how will sports journalism, possibly without newspapers, function a decade from now?

Blackistone: A decade from now is being charitable, I think. How about a year from now?

The economic model of newspapering has collapsed. Newsprint became too expensive years ago. Circulation started rolling down hill like that snowball on Rocky and Bullwinkle. The lifeblood of classified ads - homes, autos, jobs - has now gone belly up in this economy. You'd be hard-pressed to find a major newspaper in the country that isn't trimming staff like it's a cancerous tumor and discussing, privately or publicly, bankruptcy or some other form of emergency restructuring.

The future of sports reporting is no different than the future of written reporting in other areas - it is on the Internet. The only question is how it will pay for itself. Will it be e-books? Will it be some other electronic delivery? I don't believe it will be a national endowment for newspapers as one writer recently presented. I don't think journalism will be improved in whatever new format it winds up in because the best journalism takes time and patience and the Internet is about instantaneous information. Thank goodness we'll still have books, I think.

‹‹ 5. Shorter Baseball Season 7. Sports Award Voting ››

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