Sport, media and current issues - Sample Essay

Newspapers were the first form of media to report on sport back in 1733. Since then sport has become a big part of all national and local papers. In the last ten years sport has become more significant in papers and can sometimes account for a quarter of the whole papers stories. There are two main types of newspapers. Tabloids and broadsheets.

Tabloids are papers like The Sun, The Mirror, The Mail, and the Sunday versions of the papers like The News of the World and the Sunday people. Tabloids usually focus on a few sports that are usually the most popular sports such as football and cricket. The storeys in tabloids are usually more about the action off of the pitch rather than the game itself. Tabloids sensationalize sport by putting more emphasis on the stories behind the game instead of the actual game itself.

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They pay more attention to the private lives of the players rather than there performance. Action and mishaps tend to be focused on, as they are more entertaining for the readers. For example at the moment the tabloids are focusing more on what happened in the tunnel at Old Trafford after the match between Arsenal and Manchester United rather than the game itself. These papers are usually targeted at men.

Broadsheets are papers like the Guardian and The Times. They are called broadsheets as they are printed on large sheets of paper. Broadsheets focus on a wider range of sports with a more detailed coverage of the actually game. Their articles will relate to issues in the sport and have more interviews with sports related people. There is less speculation and rumours and more facts in broadsheets.

Radio is gradually increasing in its coverage of sports. Most stations will have a sports news section along with the regular news but due to the increased amount of money in radio it is possible for stations to be entirely devoted to sport. BBC five live is a current affairs and sport station that is on all day. Its coverage is in depth and as the listener cannot see the sport it needs to be accurately described. The main problem with radio is that as in all forms of media the reporter gives there own personal interpretation of the game. This means with radio the listen has to take the reporters word for it, as they cannot see the game themselves.

The Internet has become a vital source of sport information. There are many websites reporting on sport in general such as the BBC and sky websites. There are also official and fan websites for individual teams. The Internet is a good source as it is always available and can take up as much space as needed. There can be a pages devoted to match reports, rules of the game, players profiles, as well as the rumour pages. This gives the reader a wider view of sport and makes them feel more involved with a team or game. The problem with the Internet is that much of the information is unofficial and unedited and there are no laws saying that the words must be accurate. This means that the views expressed are usually those of a minority.

Television is by far the most profitable form of media. There has been more sport on TV in the last 15years and the people who own the broadcasting companies have gained more influence in the sports. The whole growth of sport can be put down to TV companies who have multiply channels devoted just to covering sport along with pay per view and sports news. There are also channels just for teams such as MUTV for Manchester United.

Television has helped to introduce new people to sport. Through multiple camera angles to show emotions, action replays, player cams and slow motion cameras the action potential has increase attracting more people. Using commentary alongside the pictures to explain to the casual viewer helps more people to understand the games there watching and encourages them to watch again. The use of famous experts attracts more people to watch, as the pundits are as bigger celebrities as the players. All of these things encourage people to watch sports or games that they are not fans of.

The effects of media coverage on sport Sports profile and importance has increase along with the number of people following it. Wider ranges of sport have become popular and there are more people taking part. Sports have also become allot more competitive and the standard has increased due to the money that TV puts into sports. Money comes into sport from television companies who pay for the right to broadcast. This also means that other sponsors are more eager to spend money, as millions on TV will see them. This means that sports earn allot of money that can be spent on facilities, player’s wages and buying new players from abroad. Theses players are usually superstars and encourage more people to watch them. Meaning more money from the TV companies.

With all the increased interest and people watching the sport there is more pressure on the sport by the media to change the sport to make it more attractive. The rules and format of the game can be changed to make the action faster and more interesting. These changes can be better for the viewers but not always for the players. Some of the changes recently are the golden goal rule in football to try and encourage teams to score quickly instead of sitting back and waiting for penalties. This rule then changed to the silver goal. The points for a try in rugby union was increase from 4 to 5 to make games more high scoring. Rugby also introduced video refs who can watch a replay of the action and make a decision. This is usually only used when making a decision for a try. The main flaw with video refs is that it’s only optional. The referee does not have to use it.

Cricket also has its own version of video ref called hawk eye. This is not available to the umpire but for the viewers at home they can see computer animated versions of the ball bowled to see if the batsman was out or not. Along with the changing of rules of sports have felt the pressure alter the presentation of the game to appeal to more people. Cricket is one of the main sports that has undergone the most changes to appeal to more people. Originally cricket was played only in 5 day test matches that because of the length are often slow scoring and with long times between a wicket being taken. To make the game more attacking and hurries the one-day games were started. This then led on to 20/20 cricket, which is a very quick game of 20 innings where every ball bowled is slogged around the park. Cricket is now looking at baseball, one of the most popular and moneymaking sports in America for influences.

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