Soccer and Journalism: Where It’s Going

Soccer and Journalism: Where It’s Going

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 19, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • Journalism, Soccer Journalism

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen lots of movement if you will in the soccer journalism world. One guy goes from a blog to a major service, another switches from one big site to another. Normally I like to write about something once or twice and leave it at that but after further thinking and reading the latest Adam Spangler article over at This Is American Soccer I had to dive back into the pool.

Spangler, like myself, loves the topic of sports journalism or in this case soccer journalism. I like it probably for some of the same reasons he does, my background is in journalism (though more on the broadcast side) and for some reason just the talk of media in general always interests me.

We’re at an interesting point though right now in journalism. If you’re reading this then you a contributing factor in some way to the demise of the print (newspaper and magazine) industry. Blogs are killing off those news services quicker than the old bosses at those papers would like to believe. I’ve worked in and around newspapers a decent bit to know that some folks in that industry still are too stubborn to really understand why their business is dying – but that is a subject for another day.

Spangler brings up two posts (12) that I nearly talked about a couple days ago. It made me think about when was the last time I picked up a Soccer America. I went digging through some old things, brushing some dust off an old box in my garage I managed to find an old ragged copy of a SA (please don’t ask why I still have it…probably just the pack-rat in me from my Grandma’s side of the family). That last magazine was from 1998, an issue shortly after France’s win in the World Cup. Now I’m not buying this magazine anymore though I get random calls from their subscription office here and there still. Back then it was still a magazine, today its a lot less than that.

(sidebar- I’m not France fan so I have no idea why I kept this issue for 12+ years…that box also contained a lot of old random soccer stuff like a UVA soccer jersey from the mid-90s when I think Bruce Arena was still coaching there so it was random to say the least. The magazine wasn’t even fully intact either, cover fell off after picking it up too.)

Now I don’t want this to sound like a banter of what I think Soccer America or other soccer magazines should do right now but for what it is worth I can see why the magazine industry is struggling. In Soccer America’s case it may be because they charge too much for an issue that really lacks a lot of substance. Magazine reading is a lot like newspaper reading, you aren’t reading it for being the most current and update to date information – you read it because you want to. The internet along with blogs brings the news right to your face whenever you want it, unlike newspapers and magazines that bring it to you either on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

SA is doing a better job though with their online coverage but to a degree its becoming more blog like rather than magazine like. Then again most magazines that do well with their online footprint are more blog like then they are willing to admit.

Its just a thing right now, blogs are in while the old print style is out, dead, gone, or whatever adjective you want to place here. Then again a lot of blogs are out for the hits and pageviews rather than just putting out quality content. I fell victim to that at once and burnt myself out in the process. Thankfully I came back with a better understanding of what I wanted to do with this site. I think the best blogs out there aren’t in it for the hits and ad revenue, they’re just in it for the love of the game and the love to write about it.

For someone like myself who went through journalism school and has seen the ins and outs of the media business from nearly all angles its just an interesting time right now. Oddly enough I get most of my news every day from Twitter. Its weird to think we’ve gone from newspapers to websites to blogs to a 140-character post for getting news.

To tie it in with soccer we’re seeing all this change right before our eyes. Blogs are changing and getting smarter, the league is hiring quality writers to head up their new operation and before long the good bloggers out there will be hired up to actually make a living off what they do best. Its a weird cycle that is even weirder and harder to explain. Soccer and sports journalism isn’t dying too quickly here but it is changing in a way that most probably didn’t predict even two or three years ago.

I don’t think we are done with this change in the soccer media landscape. As the league and most of it’s clubs are set to relaunch their media sites we’ll see even more change in that department. Soccer and MLS are a little more into the new media trends of today and that helps the footprint of the sport moving forward. Magazines and newspapers got us started like they did with everything else but this is a new age in media, just time to do more with it like the league is slowly starting to do.

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I’ve probably made little to no sense here but for me it was something I needed to get out of my brain. I know my thought process is a bit random here and judging by the time I started writing this it’s taken me a couple hours to even get this all down. Sorry if this rambling was a waste to read, I know all too well that I am not the best writer at times. Again this was just merely a brain dump on my part. 🙂

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