The Associated Press Sports Editors mid-Atlantic region met at Penn State last week to talk about issues in sports journalism. An important discussion involved ways to get more readers to newspaper sports pages.
One way to do that is through serious coverage of individual, participatory sports, such as running, skiing, cycling, hunting/fishing and action sports. Studies of newspaper readers show that they are drawn to intensely local, people-oriented coverage that focuses on lifestyle-related topics. Routine coverage of sports in which they participate -- often competitively -- will draw them to sports sections.
One good example of a paper doing this: The Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, which publishes regular coverage of sports such as running, skiing and skateboarding.