The Future of Sports Journalism

The Golden Knights are here. The Raiders are coming.

As a Las Vegas native, it’s been an arduous and downright agonizing wait, however Las Vegas is lastly a major league city. There’s no concern when the Knights require to the ice this fall for its first National Hockey League (NHL) game, Las Vegas will feel a sense of pride it never has previously (with all due respect to the Runnin’ Rebels national championship, of course). Becoming a major league city brings chances and difficulties for local news organizations and the young crop of experts UNLV is producing of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Researches.

How will the regional media landscape change with the addition of the Knights and the Raiders?

With the birth of the 24-hour news cycle, the proliferation of digital content, on-demand video, and social networks, the conventional methods of reporting news is considerably different than when I started my journalism career with a UNLV bachelor’s degree in 2003. There was a time when you anticipated the morning edition of the paper or ensured you tuned into the 6 p.m. news. Media outlets had captive audiences since there were so few places to obtain info.

Now info comes as quickly as a thumbprint to open your smart device. Media outlets are all over (which ones are credible is a conversation for another time), however do you observe how they’re all generally sharing the very same information?

The concern to be different lies on journalists to enterprise and find original material, but the time to do that is diminishing. Reporters are needed to do more work than ever before. Traditional print journalists are anticipated to submit digital content. Numerous television reporters are required to movie and modify their own stories and write content for the station website. Both groups must be engaged on social networks.

Regional fans of the Knights and Raiders will require consistent info when news breaks; whether it’s related to contracts and injuries, protection of practices and video game days, or even feature pieces on exactly what players like to do away from the ice/field. These stories need journalists to cover them. However here’s the rub: newsrooms throughout the country continue the practice of slashing payrolls; even the monster operation at ESPN recently laid off dozens of reporters to cut expenses. While a few Las Vegas media outlets, like the Review-Journal, have actually been boosting their sports staffs; many continue to drag, pressing teams to cover more with the exact same, and even fewer, resources.

To my point, I think this spells chance for our journalism trainees to fill a gap for exactly what will be a material hungry sports town. We have actually got eager bodies that wish to be a part of the market, prepared to discover their own stories and get experience they will not get at other school in the county.

The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Researches, and our student-run sports program, the Rebel Report, already are actively involved in providing local coverage of the Golden Knights and Raiders, both of which have actually received us with open arms. In March, we were the only college journalism program to take a trip to the NFL (National Football League) owners’ meetings in Phoenix to witness the moving of the Raiders. In June, we attended the Golden Knights expansion draft at T-Mobile Arena. By the end of June, we received our first student production Emmy Award. While the job market in this industry is very competitive, covering 2 major league teams should offer our graduates an upper hand. We are adjusting our curriculum to teach the subtlety of digital storytelling and be different from other media outlets, to be Rebels, if you will.

Sure, it can be a little frustrating for trainees to be included the blend with skilled reporters that have actually covered the NHL and NFL for several years, even years, however you’ll be proud to understand many of our Rebels assault the challenge with a no-fear attitude and some naivety (which can be a good idea). I’m happy to show them the ropes.

This might come as a shock to some of you, but Las Vegas is a sports town. The Runnin’ Rebels laid that ground work years back, it just took a while for the remainder of the country to realize it.

Oh, which new NFL stadium? It’s going to attract other huge sporting occasions to the city that we’ve never seen prior to. Las Vegas will host a Super Bowl. Sure, we’ll have to wait a little while longer, however we’re utilized to waiting. We’ll be here when it occurs.

Jon Castagnino has more than a years of experience as a journalist in Las Vegas. He signed up with UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Research Studies in 2015 as an expert faculty member. The Rebel Report began its 4th season of production in October.

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