November 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Social media has had a profound impact in the world of sports media. Grassroots movements are now becoming quite common across the web, with many websites, blogs, and twitter voices popping up almost by the minute. Popular sportswriters, on air personalities, and athletes actively blog, tweet, and communicate with fans and colleagues around the world. Becoming a beat writer for a sports franchise is no longer a matter of having exclusive connections, but having the capability to find necessary information and gather content relevant to the writer’s audience faster than competing sources.
The use of Twitter has opened the insider world of sports information to over 100 million users. If you’re a fan who moves cross country, you still have the capability to follow your team just as you did in your hometown thanks to social media. Writers, coaches, athletes, and fans alike communicate and spread information to millions of users worldwide. A simple retweet to you by ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd will reach over 200,000 users as soon as they refresh their twitter news feed. Once a sports writer/personality establishes these connections on Twitter, they can grow larger than once thought possible. Fans and colleagues alike can recommend following a writer who has the ability to break news that can’t be found anywhere else.
Through participation in social media, fans and readers can help determine the content they are given through media sources. From article reads to retweets, readers can help establish what exactly they want to know from their favorite writers. Smart writers will take advantage of the statistics and attempt to find their niche that will resonate with the audience. The audience’s response will give a writer fodder for areas to break stories and how to present them to the world.
Breaking a huge story no longer has to wait until the next day. Writers can break stories and reveal inside information with the click of a button through Twitter. Once a story is broken, it can grow legs faster than ever before; this is a very sharp double-edged sword. If a story has concrete sources and facts, a writer will be praised for his/her due diligence. But if a story is proven to be false, a writer’s questionable sources will be criticized and this may create unwarranted controversy that may harm a writer’s career in the industry. So while all seems fine and dandy, a writer should always confirm with multiple sources before breaking a story, particularly through social media.