My opinion on whether sports journalism is an oxymoron is simple. I say no. To say that sports journalism is an oxymoron is to say that sports and journalism are opposites.
I wholeheartedly feel like sports is just as much news as anything else. I feel like news is defined as covering a story and presenting the facts to the public. How does a sports game differ from that?
However, I do feel like sports journalism is the most fun to cover. As journalism legend Howard Cosell once said, “Sports is the toy department of human life.”
Although sports journalism being an oxymoron is a very hot topic conversation among journalists, I feel like it’s wrong to say that sports aren’t a type of journalism. I feel like news is a sort of entertainment. So if sports are entertainment as well, then how are news and journalism not somehow connected?
I’m not disagreeing that sports journalism doesn’t differ from that of regular classic journalism. It’s a totally different environment. In no way would I call sports journalism “traditional,” because it’s not. I feel like traditional journalism has an effect on society as a whole. Whether or not the St. Louis Cardinals are in the playoff race doesn’t really affect society as a whole, most people could care less. But I would say that sports journalism is a “hybrid” form of journalism. It takes the aspects of journalism and entertainment and combines them into what we know as sports media.
Another way I look at it is, journalists report the news. The news they report ends up on a show that is broadcast to the general public so that information can be shared on a timely basis. If you watch news shows in the morning or even listen to one on the radio, there is an entire section of time dedicated to talking about sports. Whether it is breaking news or just sports in general, there is always someone talking about it.
So those are the reasons why I think that sports journalism should not be considered an oxymoron. It should be considered in the same category as all other forms of journalism. Like a store, there are different departments that all sell different types of things, but they are all still part of the store.