Audience Perception of the Role of Sport Journalism in Sport Development : Current School News

Audience Perception of the Role of Sport Journalism in Sport Development in Nigeria

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Audience Perception of the Role of Sport Journalism in Sport Development in Nigeria.

Introduction

If there is anything that has given Nigeria  the brightest positive image in the eyes of the international community within the past five decades, it is sports. Of all the sports that the nation has participated in on the global scene, three tower high above all others in terms of the glory they have brought the country.
They are football, athletics and boxing, in that order. In athletics, Nigeria has participated in such competitions as the Olympics, the World Athletics Championships, the Common wealth Games, the  all Africa Game and others. The sprints, jumps and relays have earned us more respect than other events.
The sporting press is the fastest means to sell the sports economy agenda of any nation without necessarily distorting the message which is to create wealth through the enhancement of sport economy in Nigeria.
Looking at the sport economic indices the sporting press has been able to cut a niche for itself as we now have sports papers, sports radio, sports television programmes, even now we have a sport online real-time website in Nigeria, just to mention a few.
The most important change that has taken place in the sports industry is the significant role that journalism has played in the development of sports all over the world.
Apart from the fact that the media has increased sports awareness and spectatorship among peoples of the world, it has also increased revenue generation which has enriched the various sports stakeholders. The media have been playing a catalyst role for the identification and the promotion of knowledge, information and understanding about sport in the nation (Alimi, 2003).
1.2 Background Of The Study

The history of journalism in Nigeria could be traced to the activities of a British -Anglican Missionary to Nigeria, the Reverend Henry Townsend, who published the newspaper for “Egba” people and Yorubas in Abeokuta, Iwe Irohim.
The first edition was released on December 3, 1859. The growth of journalism in Nigeria began from this humble beginning, and the newspapers that sprang up at this period focused mainly on politics and fight for freedom.
Today, journalism practice has advanced greatly to such an extent that journalists are now accorded respect and the focus of media has expanded to include economics, politics, social event and sports.
Furthermore, print journalism is not limited to only daily newspapers but has extended to weekly news magazines some of which are printed in Nigerian local languages. Sports journalists, according to Alimi (2003) have crucial roles to play in the ongoing efforts to use sports as a vehicle for social mobilization geared towards building a prosperous country.
It is the duty of the sports journalist to provide the audience with knowledge, information and understanding. Effective broadcasters and announcers attract spectators and sports enthusiasts to sports happenings.
1.3 Statement of the problem
Sports journalism is a noble profession. Its embedded technicality however, means a sport journalist must be one who is knowledgeable on his or her subject matter, knowing that such subject matter as sports news and reports has the capacity to generate public reaction based on the sport journalist perception and presentation;
Although the role of the sports journalist in sports development is well established, it is not uncommon to find that some very cynical critics still exist within the profession. If sport is to be improved and more acceptable to the people, the relationship between sports journalism and the press needs to be  synchronized.

References

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Alimi T (2003). Reports on Opening Session of Sports Workshop Organized by the Public Affairs Section. Lagos: United States Embassy.
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Blumer, Herbert. (1951). “Collective Behavior.” in New Outline of the Principles of Sociology edited by Alfred McClung Lee. New York: Barnes and Noble.
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Bourdieu, P. (1993). How can one be a sports fan? In S. During (Ed.), The cultural studies reader London and New York: Routledge. pp. 339-356.
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Bryant, J. S., Brown, D., Comisky, P. W., & Zillmann, D. (1982). Sports and spectators: Commentary and appreciation. Journal of Communication, 32(1):109-119.

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