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It may sound shocking, but there was once a time when you had to rely on the newspaper or radio to get the latest scores and updates on your favorite sporting events. However, as media has grown into an all-encompassing conglomerate, sports news and journalism have expanded. 

Let’s take a closer look at how media has changed sports journalism.

The Early Days of Sports Journalism

Even before the advent of radio or television, newspapers were reporting on sports. In fact, by the late 1800s in Europe, race results were being reported in broadsheet newspapers all across England.

The first American-based paper to report on sports was the New York Clipper, which began reporting on baseball games in 1853, which was just 10 years after Abner Doubleday had laid out his now-famous baseball diamond.

The First Radio Sports Broadcasts

As radio technology rapidly evolved throughout the 1920s, sports began to enter the public airwaves. In 1924, Pittsburgh station KDKA became the first radio station to broadcast a boxing match between Johnny Dundee and George “Kid” Brown. In 1926, as radio crossed over from being a novelty to a mainstream entertainment medium, WJZ was broadcasting games from Babe Ruth’s baseball team, the New York Yankees.

The Rise of 24/7 Sports News

In the early days of sports media, the news would be broadcast sporadically throughout the day. However, with the rise of cable TV and its insatiable need for programming to fill 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this meant more opportunities for sports news.

Cable TV has been an important part of how sports journalism changed TV. Suddenly, the need to fill all those hours of airtime resulted in a constant flow of sports news.

The Age of Sports News Personalities

Today, we live in an era where a handful of TV personalities dominates sports news and sports-related analysis. With the rise of 24/7 cable, television has become one of the most important media platforms around how media changed sports journalism.

Only time will tell how the rise of social media will affect sports journalism moving forward.