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State of Journalism in Action Sports

With everything that is going on with all the media outlets in the world questions have arisen, questions about journalism and what it entails. Some claim that anyone that writes, regardless of their background, whether it’s for a magazine or a blog is a journalist. While others claim it’s someone that has higher education, established themselves, and has written many articles. Are either of these sides correct in what they’re saying? What does this mean for action sports?

The dictionary defines journalism as; someone who is in the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business. That definition gives a broad look at the scope of being a journalist. It pretty much covers anything from blogs, to websites, to print media. If these were the standards everyone could call themselves a journalist.

Looking at another definition we’re given this; The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation. For the most part this gets rid of the idea that bloggers are journalists as they’re prone to putting their personal spin on the topics they write about. This definitely showcases more of the Walter Cronkite aspect of news telling.

Somewhere in the middle of both of these definitions lies the truth of what being a journalist is. Web 2.0 makes it an interesting time with where our information can come from. You have multiple sources churning out different styles on various topics. The ultimate benefit is multiple viewpoints on topics.

But like any positive there is a downside. We live in a celebrity obsessed culture, everyone wants their moment in the sun. The Bloggosphere gives people their 15 minutes of fame, even to the point they become their internet persona. This raises the issue of are they a journalist or more an exhibitionist? Ultimately this is for you to decide.

Just like with any industry Action Sports deals with these issues on multiple levels. Whether it’s the upper echelons of brand recognition with a magazine or to the grass roots level of internet communities. The power to control it lies in the hands of the readers, they are the ones that need to encourage and promote the better writers. Only then will a higher tier of journalists prevail.

Posted by Avran on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 in Industry.


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6 Responses to “State of Journalism in Action Sports”

  • Ted Says:

    Yet you provide no analysis of how this related to action sports. It’s just a theoretical post about the definition of journalism. Lame link bait.

  • Ted Says:

    BTW, how does 5ones, Boardistan, ZexSports and the many other action sports “journalists” make enough money to work on it full-time?… There is no advertising here, and no way ZexSports is making enough off their ads to pay Espree a liveable salary.

    What’s the trick – ramen?

  • Ted Says:

    plus all these sites are just reposting press releases or articles that are on “real” action sports sites like Transworld, EXPN and others.

  • lawless Says:

    Gotta say, since I stumbled upon 5ones back when they were only posting every once in a while they have always had solid, unique content. Seems they are growing into more of a “portal” but there is still interesting unique content here on a regular basis.

    It’s not the content that’s killing the traditional media outlets, it’s the timeliness of the delivery. You can stream most contents now, so the mags are out of the loop on contest coverage which used to be their mainstay. If you watched the live feed, why do you want to read a synopsis of it a month or two later? That’s where the online outlets shine. You just subscribe to the RSS feeds and digest a shitload of content on a daily basis and filter through what you want to, versus having the traditional media model give you what they want you to have.

  • Eamonn Says:

    True journalists break stories, provide unique and thought-provoking content, and post facts. Boardistan (who is really just one man – Lee Crane) simply puts in key words like “surf” and “skate” into Google News (the true killer of newspapers) and posts links to the stories. Occasionally Crane will post something business related that has useful information, but he’s no journalist.

    Neither are you guys. When you do decide to post something, it’s once every few days, and it’s mostly just something you’ve copied off another blog. Or you fail to do any research and post content that is mostly wrong. I’ve seen quite a few stories here that have been blatantly false. It’s sad.

    By the way, this “blog” isn’t a journalistic story. Ironic.

  • Alex Says:

    One of the truer “journalists” I’ve seen in the action sports genre has been the radio extreme guys. Started following them a while ago, just in the past few months they broke stories on Tara Dakides bailing Omatic, Icer Air not paying the riders, and had both Lewis Samuels and Marcus Sanders on their show to give the facts on the Power Rankings/Surfline controversy. They don’t lob softballs at their guests either (they amazingly get big guests, don’t know how): http://www.theextremescene.com

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