The latest issue of Nieman Reports looks at the beat structure in news reporting and includes a special focus on sports departments. In a piece about the influence of new media on sports reporting, Curley Center Director Malcolm Moran writes that "competitive pressures are rewriting the rules" by challenging traditional practice in regard to verifying sources and ensuring accuracy. Lindsay Jones, a beat writer for The Denver Post, talks about how she aims to adhere to high journalistic standards even as she races to be the first on the story -- with her thumbs on her phone keypad -- via Twitter.
Not all has changed, however. In a story I wrote about the beat structure in sports departments, I argue that the infinite news hole created by new media hasn't really expanded coverage of women's sports, mostly because beat structures in sports departments haven't changed to allow it. In other words, the technologies may be new, and the challenges to reporters to get the story fast may be more intense, but the types of sports covered and the types of stories consumers get from media sources haven't really changed that much.
The bottom line: It'll take a lot more than technology to see substantive changes in sports media content.