World Sports Journalists Day: All you need to know about its origin

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, July 01, 2022, 07:52 PM IST
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World Sports Journalists Day is celebrated globally on July 2.

It is the anniversary of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), established in 1924. The AIPS’ headquarters is based in Switzerland.

The World Sports Journalists Day was introduced In 1994 by AIPS.

Tracing the roots

The roots of Sports journalism can be traced to the early 1800s as an important part of the elite class and transitioned to the news business with a dedicated sports column.

At the start, the sports sporadically covered horse racing and boxing. The focus of the coverage would be less on the event itself and more on the greater social context.

Horse races between the North and South and boxing bouts between US and England garnered much interest from the social elite.

The Golden Age

The 1920s has been called the Golden Age of American Sports. Baseball became the national pastime, college football became popular, and radio and newspaper coverage increased. The New York Herald was the first newspapers to publishing consistent sports coverage.

The New York World in 1883 was the first newspaper to have a full times sports department. The following period from 1880 to 1920 saw a massive increase in sports coverage in publications. A study showed that in 1880 only 0.4 percent of space in the newspaper was dedicated to sports.

By the 1920s, that proportion had risen to 20 percent. During this time, newspapers focused mainly on play-by-play coverage and game recaps of the sport events.

Local publications started hiring beat reporters who were tasked with following all developments pertaining to the team. This included traveling with the team and interviewing the players. Teams also started constructing dedicated sections called press box in the stadiums for the press to sit and record notes on the game.

Introduction of technology

As technology introduced new developments like the radio, television and the internet, the focus of sports coverage shifted from the play by play to statistical analysis of the game and background pieces on the players.

This was also coupled with a massive increase in sports amongst the general public. The increased popularity of football, basketball and hockey meant more content to publish and more interested readers to publish to.

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