100 articles – ‘Why is sports journalism an oxymoron?’

28 April 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

 ‘Why is sports journalism an oxymoron?’ by E.W Mason

It was legendary sports journalist Howard Cosell who said, ‘Sports is the toy department of human life’. It would be hard, however, to imagine he would have been pleased with how those words were twisted into a widespread disdain for the practice of sports journalism.

In 2000, communications lecturer Edgar Mason presented this paper to the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand Annual Conference, discussing the differences between sports journalism and ‘real journalism’.

While I cannot agree that sports journalism is an oxymoron, I still believe this is a must-read for those coming down on either side of the argument. Mason presents a thorough examination of the unique environment in which sports reporting resides, backing up his argument with sound logic and solid examples.

Any article defending the legitimacy of sports journalism must surely start with a counter to the points raised here.

Evan Harding is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University.