1.1 Background to the Study
Sports was originally a recreational activity, but with the introduction of financial and material benefits and an attendant honour to it, the number of participants, the number of events and the struggle for victory have introduced high level politics into it.
Consequent upon the expected rewards, fraud, irregularities and injustices have overshadowed the system. However, a lot of people and groups are now interested in knowing about sporting events. Fixtures, dates, time and place of such events become matters of interest. They equally raise a question about past ones and even the plans for the future.
Thus, information and mass awareness become primary in solving this quest for information and knowledge. A special unit or field in the world of journalism takes it upon itself to report sporting events to the public.
The effects of these reports both in shaping the behaviour of the public and management of sports in general demand specialization and skills in sports reporting.
This research in acknowledging these facts, examines the impact of print media in sport development in Nigeria. Sports was a recreational phenomenon till the early 1930’s when the first world sports fiesta was held. The processes of selection among different nations led to stronger and more competitive sports among nations and continents. Thus, competitive sports serve as an integrating force, and source of socio-political relationships. As an incentive and motivation to individuals and nations contending to the throne, financial benefits, international honours, merit awards were introduced. Sports bodies such as FIFA, IOC, CAF and NFA were established and employment opportunities created.
Consequently, various sporting activities, medals, pressure groups and interests emerged. Every day, these groups and interests press or seek to know about the processes and dynamics of these sporting activities, ostensibly with a view to preserve and/or influence certain phenomena.
The mass media fill this responsibility gap as they report these activities and provide the necessary information needed to all interested parties far and wide. Beazell W.P. observed this when he wrote, “sports news comes nearer than anything else I know of, to the common denominator of news. There is probably more universal reader interest in the sports pages than in any of the other parts of the modem Newspaper.”
This duty has great influence on the entire socio-cultural, political, and economic structure of nations. Sport commentaries originated nationalistic activities/pressures, fanaticism, and hooliganism in sports. Because of its wider reach, it has become the surest, though the costliest, means of advertising products, services and programmes. It has yielded millions for their organizers and made many analysts, and commentators international personalities/heroes.
The struggle for heteronomy among nations has equally been extended to sports. Considering the influence of sports reporting, necessary reporting materials and Concrete facts are needed for quality and objective reporting.
They are interested in the means and methods of data gathering. Generally, they obtain the data through personal observation, press association, publications and mass media.
With the introduction of financial and material benefits and an attendant honour to sport, the number of participants, the number of events and the struggle for victory have introduced high level politics into it. Consequent upon the expected rewards, fraud, irregularities and injustices have overshadowed the system. However, a lot of people and groups are now interested in knowing about sporting events. Fixtures, dates, time and place of such events become matters of interest. They equally raise a question about past ones and even the plans for the future.
The sports reporters gather, process, interpret and publish relevant news items needed by interested parties. This responsibility puts them on the move all the time, hunting for facts that will be of immense value to the public. This paper, therefore, x-rays organization Structures of sports reporting, responsibility of sports reporters and technical for effective sports reporting.
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